Why Are Regular Cleanings Needed?
You brush your teeth twice every day and floss every night exactly as directed by your hygienist. If you are taking such great care of your teeth, then why is it necessary to go back to the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning?
Even with the best technique and the best toothbrush, you may still be missing areas on your teeth and just below the gumline. This isn’t a reflection on you; it’s simply that your teeth aren’t uniform, and it is difficult to clean part of every tooth. This is especially true if your teeth are slightly crooked, crowded or have some gaps.
Plaque builds up on a portion of the tooth that has not been completely cleaned. Eventually, this plaque hardens into tartar. This process takes time, but the tartar cannot be removed with a toothbrush. Professional instruments are required. When tartar sits on the tooth’s surface for a long time, it eats into the tooth and cavities can form. After this, gum disease can begin to develop, and we don’t want that to happen.
The American Dental Association recommends that everyone have a professional cleaning every six months, and we agree with this recommendation. Sometimes it’s appropriate for more frequent cleanings in the case that you’ve missed a few cleanings and have significant tartar buildup or if we are treating you for gum disease. If Dr. Gardner and our staff feel that you would benefit from more frequent cleanings, we’ll discuss this with you.