However, even with good at-home care, you can’t get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth. The leftover bacteria create a biofilm called plaque that collects on your teeth and tongue and under your gums and contributes to the development of cavities and gum disease.
Brushing and flossing remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and gums but may not be able to get rid of the plaque that settles under the gumline. When it’s not removed, this plaque hardens into a substance called tartar.
Tartar traps bacteria on your teeth and under your gums and may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, or tooth loss if left untreated. Unlike plaque, brushing and flossing can’t remove the hardened tartar that collects on your teeth and gums.
You can expect comprehensive and gentle care during your teeth cleaning. First, your dental professional reviews your medical history, examines your teeth and gums, and assesses your bite.
Once your initial exam is complete, your dental professional starts your teeth cleaning, which includes:
Your dentist determines when you should schedule teeth cleanings. However, if it’s been more than six months since your last visit to the dentist, then it’s time to schedule a teeth cleaning.
In general, most people benefit from professional teeth cleaning every six months. However, you may need more frequent teeth cleanings if you have an oral health issue, such as gum disease, or a medical condition that increases your risk of gum disease like diabetes.