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    How Often Should I Go For Dental Cleanings?

    You may be going for dental checkups and cleanings too infrequently...or more than you need to!

    How Often Should I Go For Dental Cleanings?

    Regular dental cleanings are an important part of your tooth care routine and is a key part of practicing preventative health.  How often you should get this done depends on several factors, such as your oral health and the condition of your teeth.  Here are some of the things that you ought to consider when deciding how often to get your teeth cleaned at your dentist’s office among other dental services.

    Your Dentist’s Advice on Regular Check-ups

    Generally speaking, dentists will follow the advice of the Canadian Dental Association, which says that how often you go should be determined after consulting with your dentist.  While some people can get by with a yearly exam, most dentists recommend that their patients come in every six months.

    Dental Insurance and the Cost of Tooth Cleaning

    While the cost of a dental cleaning is usually not terribly high, for some people it can be a question of affordability.  The good news is that most insurance plans cover all or part of the cost, making it much more affordable.  If costs are a major factor in your decision on how often to get your teeth cleaned, be sure to find out how often your insurance plan will allow coverage for cleanings.  Many, if not most, plans will cover this service once every six months, which makes for a good interval between exams for most people. If you’re self employed and/or without coverage, speak to your dentist or dental hygienist about a plan that will work best for you.

    Factors That Increase Your Need For More Frequent Dental Cleanings

    Anything that places you at a higher risk of periodontal disease can lead to the need for more frequent dental cleanings.  For example, your age, how well you clean your teeth in between dentist appointments, the medications you take, and the presence of certain medical conditions can all cause you to be at higher risk.

    Benefits of Professional Tooth Cleaning

    While your own efforts at thorough brushing and flossing go a long way towards preventing tooth decay and cavities, there are some things that these efforts can’t do.  For example, during a professional cleaning, the dentist or hygienist can remove plaque, tartar, stains, and calculi that your toothbrush cannot.  Also, remember that the longer the time in between your professional cleanings, the more plaque, tartar, and stains that will build up (which is time-consuming to remove) – going more often means less of this stuff accumulates and your cleanings take less time per visit.

    Finally, don’t forget that when you head to the dentist’s office for your cleaning, the exam that they conduct at your appointment can help to prevent more than just tooth decay.  For example, they can catch the early signs of mouth cancer, notice if you’re damaging your teeth by grinding them when you sleep, make sure that previous dental work is holding up well, and assess any unusual cysts or growths.  It’s always better to catch these types of problems early because they’re generally much easier and less expensive to treat if you do!

    Make Regular Professional Dental Cleanings Part of Your Routine

    Modern dentistry makes it possible for us to keep our teeth in good health longer than ever.  Take full advantage of this by enlisting the help of your dentist to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible via regular check-ups and cleanings.