How Often Do You Need a Teeth Cleaning?

Posted on: November 21, 2017

CleaningMost people (and most dentists) are misinformed as to how many times during the year they should get their teeth cleaned. Almost no one, except periodontists and some better-educated dentists know what the basis for setting the timing of cleanings. The truth is that 80% of the population either has or is going to get periodontal disease, which is a disease of the gums and bone that leads to gum recession and bone loss. Periodontal disease is known to cause heart disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis and premature birth and diabetes, among other illnesses.

When to get professional teeth cleaning

So how often should the average citizen get their teeth cleaned and why? Long-term studies show that for patients who are treated for periodontal disease will maintain their health best if they had their teeth cleaned every 12 weeks. Most practices for most patients will push that out to 14 weeks because we don’t follow a lunar calendar. It seems to work most of the time.

Since we cannot tell who in the future will be part of the 80% who will get periodontal disease, all patients should get their teeth cleaned every three months. For people who have already developed periodontal disease, there is no doubt. The same frequency applies to patients who have implants.

Four times a year will do the trick

Now, what is the cause for so many people having misinformation about the frequency of cleanings, to the point that most insurance plans (Delta Dental being an exception) will only pay for two cleanings per year?

What major thinking, deep observations, led us away from proper preventive medicine? A 1955 Pepsident advertisement. Yep, that’s it. So, thank you Delta Dental for realizing that you will have less to pay out for all kinds of care. Another study shows that even shoddy dentistry will last much longer if maintained at this pace.

If one receives twice as many teeth cleanings as four times a year, then he or she will be able to keep healthy teeth. So, no matter what your insurance does, get your teeth cleaned four times a year. Your body and your wallet will thank you.


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