I hear this question all the time and there is no one size fits all answer. Dental professionals recommend a teeth cleaning twice a year, but some patients can get away with only one visit per year. Why you ask? Because some dental patients floss and brush their teeth more regularly throughout the day than others. Everything from plaque build up, to bad breath, to irreversible bone loss and enamel lose will be taken into account when making this decision on how frequent you need your teeth cleanings. Other factors include your age and health. People in their 20’s and 30’s who are healthy and eat very well, of course taking into account their daily dental hygiene, should be okay with only an annual teeth cleaning. But say you’re in your 70’s and you only brush once a day and never floss, its definitely beneficial to get a dental cleaning biannually.
As we get older, we start to accumulate more health conditions from the various problems we’ve had over a lifespan, so your risk will change and usually go up with age. Dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many medications, means there is less saliva, which makes it easier for bacteria to grow.
After about 18 months, or maybe two years of no professional teeth cleanings whatsoever, your risk for at least some initial bone loss is significant and it will starts off slowly then accelerate if left unchecked over time. Also, the longer the time between visits, the harder the hygienist will need to work to scrape away the buildup, which can be uncomfortable.
If you’d like to learn more, please read the full article Angela Chen wrote from The Wall Street Journal.
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