For most people, professional dental cleanings should be done every 6 months. Daily brushing and flossing are important, but not enough to keep teeth and gums from harboring destructive bacteria.

During a cleaning, a dental hygienist will gently but thoroughly remove biofilm, plaque and tartar from around and under your gums, while also providing education about how best to keep your mouth clean and healthy at home. Each person is a little different so home care and frequency of professional cleanings must be tailored to your specific body and genetic predispositions.

Measuring the space between your gums and teeth is called periodontal charting. This is done at least once a year to make sure bacteria is not causing bone loss. A healthy mouth should have between 1-3mm pockets of space. If they are deeper than that, your dental hygienist and dentist will determine if a deep cleaning is needed or if it’s time to have a gum specialist (periodontist) evaluate the areas to best keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Having regular cleanings not only keeps your mouth healthy, but can also impact your social life and overall health. Your mouth is connected to the rest of you after all!

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