How Many Cleanings Should I Have Each Year, And Why?

Teeth Cleaning

Continue reading to learn how many dental cleanings you should have each year, and why you need them on that frequency.

Prophylaxis (Regular) Cleanings

Most people will be asked to return twice each year for their prophylaxis dental cleaning, commonly referred to as a “prophy” or “regular” cleaning. 

In most cases, before your cleaning begins, eight x-rays will be taken on either side of your mouth and these x-rays are known as bitewings. The front of the mouth are called periapicals. They help make up a routine and periodic inspection of the condition of the teeth and bone. Bitewings are usually renewed every six months to a year, depending on the protocol of your insurance, and so are usually lined up with the patient’s cleaning appointment. 

During your prophylaxis, the gums are probed to diagnose the condition of your gums. Then your teeth are cleaned around the gumline and flossed. Your dental hygienist will inspect the mouth for any signs of damage or decay, and will ensure that there are no signs of gingivitis or gum disease. Your visit will be complete after your dentist takes a look both inside the mouth and at the x-rays to confirm that the teeth are healthy and free of decay. If there is more of a buildup of plaque, gingivitis, or a health condition, your hygienist/dentist may recommend you come in for extra cleanings in a year.

The prophylaxis cleaning is more or less a form of preventative care, as it maintains a healthy environment within the mouth and discourages the growth of harmful bacteria. It’s important for you to keep up with these appointments to preserve and upkeep your oral health.

Periodontal Cleaning

If a patient has been diagnosed with periodontal disease,the patient is then placed on a periodontal maintenance program. Periodontal cleanings are designed to tackle excessive levels of plaque and bacteria both above and below the gumline  This is usually done every three months until the pockets have been reduced.  At this cleaning, the hygienist will be able to clean deeper pockets, even apply anesthetic where necessary to help debride the pockets from the bacteria.  The hygienist may recommend laser therapy or an antibacterial rinse after to help reduce the amount of bacteria in the pockets.. It’s crucial to keep up with your periodontal cleanings in order to maintain a healthy mouth and to avoid allowing the condition to progress.

Willow Glen Dental Center: San Jose Dentist

Here at Willow Glen Dental Center, we pride ourselves on our dedication to helping our patients maintain a healthy and happy smile. For more information about dental cleanings in San Jose or to get scheduled for an appointment in our San Jose dental office, give us a call at (408) 266-6144.


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