In addition to good oral hygiene at home, it is highly important that you get your teeth cleaned at least every 6 months. Professional cleanings remove plaque, calculus (tartar), and other debris you are missing or unable to access with a toothbrush and floss. Cleanings by a hygienist decrease your risk of gum disease by providing you with invaluable information on how to improve your home care and by using dental instruments to reach below the gum line where deeper pockets harbor disease-causing bacteria.
During your cleaning, your hygienist will offer you advice on products and techniques unique to your needs. This is a good opportunity to have any questions answered as well in a completely nonjudgmental fashion. Dental x-rays may be taken to detect early signs of decay and prevent problems from worsening. Bitewing x-rays are generally taken once a year to check the crowns of the teeth and in between the teeth. A full mouth x-ray or (panorex) is recommended every 3-5 years to check all teeth, roots, bones, and sinuses for any pathology. Finally, an exam by the dentist should be done every 6 months. Early detection prevents painful problems and costly treatment!