How Often Should I Get My Teeth Cleaned By A Dentist?

Teeth cleanings are vital for our oral health. A tooth cleaning can remove plaque, prevent cavities, and even make our teeth look better. In fact, keeping your teeth healthy can improve your overall health. It’s clear that you should attend regular cleanings. Still, how often is “regular?” People ask me all the time, “How often should I get my teeth cleaned by a dentist?”

The simple answer is twice a year, but a more realistic answer would be “it depends.” You see, the standard insurance recommendation is to visit the dentist for a cleaning every six months, but how often you really need to get your teeth cleaned by a dentist will depend on your unique oral health. While some healthy patients only need to see the dentist for a cleaning once a year, patients with gum disease may need to come once every three months (or every other month in particularly acute cases).

What Factors Affect How Often You Need to See the Dentist?

So how can you know how often you will need to go to the dentist for a cleaning? There are some risk factors that will mean you need to get your teeth cleaned more often. If you smoke, are pregnant, have a weak immune system or immune system response to bacterial infections, tend to develop plaque more quickly, or have a family history of gum disease, you are at greater risk for gum disease and may need more cleanings. In addition, you may need to get tooth cleanings more often if you have previously been diagnosed with gum disease or if you are currently suffering from large amounts of stress or another illness.

If you think that list sounds complicated, don’t worry. The best way to find out how often you need to see your dentist for a cleaning is simple: ask. Your dentist will be able to evaluate your current oral health, history of tooth cleaning habits, and risk factors to suggest the regimen best for your unique needs. Your dental history will also factor into this recommendation. When you trust your dentist’s advice, you are best able to take care of your oral health and unique needs.

If you haven’t been to get your teeth cleaned in a while, now may be the time. The twice a year recommendation acts as a good reference for the average patient, but you may be different. Talk to your dentist about your cleaning needs to find out what’s right for you.