Your car tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 7,000 miles and the filter on the air conditioner should be changed every month or two but your dental cleaning schedule is a little more complicated. Here’s how we determine how often you should get your teeth cleaned.
Where We Start
Although there’s no scientific evidence that says a cleaning twice a year is sufficient, this is an established standard recommendation for healthy patients. Every six months we hope to see our healthiest patients for a routine examination and “cleaning”. This will allow the hygienist to remove the tartar buildup that they can’t reach. Preventing gum disease and cavities means working together with our dental team. These appointments also give us the chance to take x-rays and check for signs of decay and other dental problems that might sneak up on you.
Your Dental Health Status
There are six periodontal classifications that you might fall into. The preferred types are healthy patients with no sign of infection. On the other end of the spectrum are patients with advanced progressive disease and bone loss. We will suggest treatment and follow up hygiene visits at an interval that fits your specific classification.
Since over 75% of Americans have periodontal disease, many of our patients have had therapy to treat this common condition. Surgical treatments like pocket reduction and non-surgical treatments like root planing both require follow up visits and tartar removal more frequently than every six months. Disrupting bacterial colonies and removing tartar from root surfaces closer to a three month periodontal maintenance interval will help prevent the further breakdown on jawbone and tissue.
As you can imagine, people that brush and floss regularly won’t need as much attention as those that haven’t established these healthy habits. Soda, medications and poor food choices can also put you at a higher risk for dental problems so it’s important to offset bad habits with more visits to the hygienist.