Teeth cleaning (also known as prophylaxis, literally a preventive treatment of a disease) is a procedure for the removal of tartar (mineralized plaque) that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult to reach in routine toothbrushing. Our hygienists, Emma and Kacie, will do a thorough cleaning while also making sure to educate you on your home care needs. The frequency of your cleanings will vary from person to person and it is very important to establish and maintain your oral care regiment to help prevent gum disease or it’s progression.
Did you know that the golden rule of “6-month cleanings” was coined? It actually came from Amos and Andy, 50’s TV show that was sponsored by Pepsodent Tooth Powder. Their ad campaign was so effective that in an attempt to appease dentists and gain their recommendations, they stated in their ad that in addition to brushing twice a day, you should see your dentist every 6 months.
There was no scientific research completed to determine how often each person should have their teeth cleaned; it was all determined by ad men! We now know that not everyone can go 6 months between professional cleanings to maintain their oral health. Your genetics, your oral care, and the type of the number of bacteria in your mouth are what dictate how often you should have your teeth cleaned. Some people can go 6 months, some 8 months, some 3 months; it really is an individual determination by you, Dr. Detar, and your hygienist. Keep in mind, your insurance company prefers the “Amos and Andy gig”. This has allowed insurance carriers to predict their risk and learn how to add for their profit. Even though you may be someone who needs more frequent cleanings, many carriers still only provide the “every 6-month” rule.