How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

At a minimum, children and adults should have professional dental cleaning at least twice a year.  However, if you are at high risk for gum disease or decay due to a chronic condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or an eating disorder, your dentist may recommend more frequent exams and cleanings. If you develop pain or changes to your gums, soft tissue, or teeth between regular cleanings, you should book a dental exam. Likewise, if you  experience any sort of dental trauma such as a fall, accident, or direct contact with the jaw or teeth you should see the dentist as soon as possible.

What to Expect at Your Dental Cleaning

During a dental exam, you can expect the following:

  • Thorough examination and evaluation of your gums
  • Examination of soft tissues of the mouth
  • Bite analysis and evaluation
  • Visual inspection of your teeth for signs of decay, weakness, fractures
  • Plaque removal
  • Digital x-rays (at some appointments, or when the dentist suspects a problem) 
  • Teeth will be flossed
  • Tooth polishing
  • Examination and evaluation of existing dental restorations
  • Recommendations, advice, and tips for maintaining or improving oral health

Dental Cleanings are a Preventative Treatment

Regular dental exams and cleanings are first and foremost preventative treatments. By removing the plaque that can’t be removed with at-home brushing and flossing, your dentist is focusing on preventing tooth decay, and gum disease. Moreover, throughout the examination, they are looking for any signs that a problem may be developing, to treat it before it becomes a larger or more complex problem. 

For example, they may find that you have a filling that has weakened and needs to be treated so that it continues to protect the tooth. They may find a tiny fracture in a tooth that will need to be treated to prevent the tooth from chipping or cracking.  

Regular Dental Cleanings Allow for Early Detection and Diagnosis 

Regular dental exams and cleanings are also diagnostic in scope. Early detection and diagnosis of problems are key to keeping your mouth healthy, and the cost of dental care affordable. 

Consider that small amounts of decay in a tooth can be filled either at your cleaning appointment or during a subsequent appointment. This will prevent the decay from spreading to other teeth and the gums, potentially preventing the need for additional treatments such as dental crowns, or scaling and root planing. 

See the Dentist Immediately if You Develop Pain or Other Problems

Even if you’re not due for your dental cleaning, if you develop any of the following symptoms, book an appointment with your dentist immediately.

  • Tooth pain
  • New onset of tooth sensitivity
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bumps on the gums
  • Dark, discolored gums
  • Bad taste in mouth/bad breath
  • Crack in tooth
  • Large chip in a tooth
  • Lost filling
  • Loose or lost dental crown
  • You’re having difficulty chewing
  • You’ve developed an unusual spot, sore, or lesion in the mouth
  • A tooth has been knocked loose

Book a Dental Cleaning and Exam in Scarsdale, NY

If it’s been six months or longer since you’ve seen a dentist for a cleaning and exam, or if you’re experiencing any pain, book an appointment at Scarsdale Dental Group today by calling 914-723-4707 . You may also book your appointment online.