How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?
Dr. Padolsky is an Atlanta dentist who stresses preventive care. Although he can restore broken-down teeth and replace them when necessary, it is far more comfortable and cost-effective for you to prevent the need for such solutions in the first place. The main prevention is simply to keep your teeth cleaned well and regularly.
In addition to good home oral care, regular professional teeth cleanings are vital to keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Bacteria accumulates on your teeth from your food and beverages, and if these bacteria are not routinely cleaned off with professional instruments, it can lead to infection. The biochemicals generated by the infection lead to tooth decay and inflammation of the gums. If let go too long, it can progress into gum disease.
Many things determine how fast this accumulation takes place. Diet is one of the main influencers. A diet full of sugars and starches creates a very fast accumulation of bacteria. However, even if you eat very healthy foods and brush and floss well, some bacterial accumulation still takes place. It just accumulates at a slower pace.
Too much acid content in your mouth, inadequate saliva flow, a compromised immune system and medications also play major roles in accelerating this accumulation. And inadequate oral hygiene allows the bacterial accumulation to continue unchecked.
For a person with an excellent diet, no major health issues and good personal oral hygiene care, a professional cleaning every four to six months has generally been found to be adequate. It should be noted, however, that no two people’s condition is exactly alike, so the only real way to predict this would be by getting a professional cleaning and seeing how things shake out in follow-up visits.
Now of course, if you haven’t had a professional cleaning in a long time (even as little as nine months), you should get yourself into the dental chair as soon as possible. If you can’t get in for a cleaning appointment immediately, here are some things you can do to minimize any further deterioration:
1) Start brushing and flossing (yes, both) after every meal.
2) Use a strong plaque-fighting toothpaste, preferably one from a dental office if you can get it. These are professional-grade formulas.
3) Knock off eating sugary or starchy foods and sugary drinks (this includes foods made with refined flours). A consistent diet of nutritious whole foods can never hurt.
4) Get a hold of a professional-grade mouthwash and use it according to instructions.
You can call us for advice on what to do before seeing us. But definitely set up an appointment to see us for an exam and professional cleaning as soon as possible. We’ll make sure you are seen and taken care of fast.
Part of our service includes training you on the most effective home oral care techniques and recommending the best products to use for your circumstances. And of course, we will work with you on a maintenance program of regular hygiene visits to help you maintain your oral health. How often you will need a maintenance cleaning will depend on your individual needs.