How Often Do You Really Need a Dental Cleaning Each Year?

Having your teeth cleaned can be a virtuous feeling, and can really leave your mouth feeling much better than it was before you had it done. Dental cleanings have a range of benefits also that goes beyond how you feel.

But how often do you really need to have a cleaning done? Everyone has heard the general wisdom that you should get one twice per year, or every sixth months. Others say that once a year is enough for some people who tend not to have many dental problems or suffer from any signs of gum disease. However, no one should go more than a year without having a cleaning done, as the benefits far outweigh the cost, especially if you have insurance.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Prevention Is Better Than a Cure

Dental cleanings remove plaque, tartar, and other debris from your gums and teeth. It also gives your dentist a chance to examine your mouth and teeth for any budding issues before they become a problem, such as tooth decay you’re unaware of or early gum disease.

Your oral health and home routine should help you determine how often you have a cleaning done. Twice per year is a good rule of thumb if you have normal or good dental health, and especially if your insurance covers two cleanings per year. Even if you don’t have any apparent dental problems, you’ll boost your gum health and reduce your chance of getting gum disease. After all, cleanings reduce the space between your gums and teeth, keeping bacteria out.

Cleanings also help prevent other health issues such as heart disease, and there’s evidence that a healthy smile helps your brain health as well.

Therefore, having regular cleanings can help you save money, even if you pay out of pocket. Cleanings are much cheaper than having many dental procedures done, or having more serious health problems pop up in the future.

When To Have More Cleanings Done

If you suffer from gum disease or bleeding gums, or other dental issues, you should ask your dentist about having more cleanings and checkups done. Some people are more prone to having cavities and gum disease than others, and would therefore benefit from more frequent cleanings.

Diabetes can increase the risk of gum disease, and so can a family history of the issue. Some people simply are more prone to tooth decay than others, and if any of these issues apply to you, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist about having cleanings done more than once every six months. The same applies if you smoke often, as this can have an adverse effect on your teeth.

Because insurance typically only covers two cleanings per year, talk to your dentist about whether you need to schedule more cleanings than is typical. But even paying out of pocket can sometimes be cheaper than dental procedures. Your situation may vary.

Questions About Your Cleaning?

At Seven Lakes Dental, we’re here to help you find the right schedule for your dental cleanings if you’re in the Smokey Point or Marysville, WA area. If you have any questions about this procedure or about your dental health specifically, be sure to contact us so we can put you at ease, both in and out of the office.