How Often Should You Have Your Teeth Cleaned or a Dental Exam?

One question that often comes up when we discuss oral health is, “How often should you get your teeth cleaned?” The answer is not quite as straightforward as you may think. The standard that most of us have grown up with is that you should aim to have a professional teeth cleaning with a dentist twice a year. While this still holds true, you might be surprised to learn that this is the bare minimum care that you should provide for yourself or your family.  These visits are more than “just a cleaning” and maintaining a bright smile; it’s about safeguarding your overall health.  

Picture your mouth as the gateway to your body, affecting not just your oral health but your general well-being too. Clean teeth and healthy gums are not just about flashing a confident smile but also about supporting the rest of the body. As a result, a lot of our patients opt to have their teeth cleaned three or four times a year.

Keeping an Eye on Your Gums

The health of your gums should never be taken for granted. Just as important as your teeth, gums need their share of attention during dental checkups. Your dentist should check for and clean up any plaque accumulation along and underneath your gums to prevent gum diseases.  It only takes 90 days for plaque to turn into tartar.  A toothbrush, no matter the type, cannot remove tartar, only your dentist has the tools to remove this from your body.

Untreated gum diseases can result in unpleasant symptoms like bleeding gums, bad breath, and in severe cases, loss of teeth. Early identification and treatment are vital, which is why your dental visits are key. Regular cleanings help keep your teeth, gums – and subsequently your body – inflammation free and in excellent health.

Beyond Cleanings: Comprehensive Dental Checkups

A comprehensive dental check-up involves more than just cleaning your teeth. Your dentist will also examine your jaw alignment, conduct an oral cancer screening, and take x-rays to detect decay, abscesses, tumors, and other potential problems that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Plus, if you’ve had restorative work like fillings, crowns, or implants, these regular check-ups ensure they remain intact. Similarly, if you wear dentures or other oral appliances, your dentist can check their fit and cleanliness. 

Frequently visiting your dentist is a proactive approach to oral health that can help you to identify any issues earlier and have them treated before they can worsen into something more serious. Delayed treatment is more invasive, and more costly.

Dental health needs vary from person to person, and some individuals might require more frequent dental visits due to certain risk factors.  For instance, smokers, pregnant women, people with diabetes, or those with a weakened immune system may need more regular checkups. Individuals prone to cavities or excessive plaque buildup may also need to pencil in extra appointments. 

Starting Young

Prioritizing dental hygiene is essential for everyone, especially children. Routine dental check-ups usually begin when a child turns three. Following this, children should have their teeth cleaned at least twice a year, just like adults.  Parents often struggle to clean their children’s teeth, and the child doesn’t have the dexterity to do it themselves.  As a result, children often don’t get proper home care.  This makes visiting the dentist even more important for them.

These needed dental visits not only help keep cavities and other dental issues at bay in children but also familiarize them with the dental care process. This can alleviate any fear or anxiety they may associate with dental appointments, fostering lifelong positive oral health habits.  

Importance of Home Dental Care

While professional dental cleanings are imperative, maintaining your oral hygiene at home, between these visits, is equally crucial. Using an electric toothbrush, a waterpik and floss, coupled with a balanced diet, can greatly contribute to preserving your oral health.

Remember, your mouth is the mirror reflecting your body’s health. Your individual oral hygiene routine, in conjunction with regular dental visits and a proactive attitude, can ensure you maintain that winning smile as well as overall health.

Get Comprehensive Dental Care in St. Johns, FL 

If you are looking for a dentist in the St. Johns or Jacksonville, FL area to help you maintain your and your family’s oral health, schedule your appointment with Bartram Dental Center today.  We provide complete oral care for your entire family and view your visit with us as a key component to helping you maintain your overall health and wellness. 

To learn more or to request an appointment, contact us today.

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