If you went to a dentist for a check-up and teeth cleaning in the last year, give yourself a pat on the back. Most people don’t go. Because not everyone loves the dentist, but research shows people who visit at least once a year for preventative care are happier with their smile. Regular dental visitors are also less likely to need a filling or have a tooth removed. One of the most routine dentist visits is for teeth cleaning. So that begs the question, how often should one get teeth cleaning?
So How Often?
For dentists, patients often ask how regularly they should get their teeth cleaned. Actually, it depends.
Most private health insurance programs cover a dental check-up and cleaning once every six months. But there’s no hard and fast evidence, particularly if you’re a healthy person who is less likely to get a cavity or gum disease.
However, some people are at higher risk of getting dental cavities or gum disease—and this group should get their teeth cleaned more often.
Why Do I Need to Get My Teeth Cleaned?
While we all do the best we can on our own, getting professional teeth cleaning helps remove plaque, the soft yellowish build-up, and calculus (hardened plaque) we can’t get to brushing alone. This soft build-up is made up of billions of different types of bacteria that live and reproduce in our mouth by feeding on the food we eat.
Certain bacteria in dental plaque, when they grow in numbers, can lead to cavities (holes in the teeth) or gum disease. A dental cleaning will reduce the chance of getting cavities or gum disease by significantly reducing the amount of plaque and calculus in your mouth.
Our Dental Health is Related to Our Overall Health
Those with chronic health issues such as heart conditions or diabetes will need to see their dentists more frequently. This is because they are more prone to gum disease.
People taking blood thinners and other medications, such as pills and infusions may need to visit the dentist more regularly too. These medications can complicate the process of an extraction or other dental work, so regular checks and cleans are best to help detect problems before they become serious.
People with bleeding gums should also see their dental practitioners more often. This is especially important if you have been diagnosed with advanced gum disease aka periodontal disease.
What Does it Cost?
The average cost of a check-up, dental cleaning and fluoride treatment is around $200. The cost can vary from $150 to $300. Many dentists may offer payment plans.
If you can’t afford this, you may qualify for free or discounted treatment if you hold a concession card. Children from families that receive a Family Tax Benefit A may be eligible for free dental treatment through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule.
People with private health insurance with extras or ancillary cover will also have some or all of their dental treatment covered.
We here at the office of Dr. Max L Lingo, Evansville dentist, agree. Teeth cleanings are very important. Dr. Max Lingo also does bonding & filling, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, dentures & partials, extractions, sedation dentistry, teeth whitening, teeth cleaning, plaque removal and more.