Why Do We Need Dental Cleanings?

kaniacleaningHow often do you see a dentist or periodontist for a thorough dental cleaning? Many people wonder why we need dental cleanings if we already brush and floss. However, routine maintenance from a dental professional is crucial for strengthening gums and avoiding the potential onset of periodontal disease.

Preventive Services Quiz

  1. True or False: You should have your teeth cleaned twice a year.
  2. True or False: A cleaning removes plaque that would otherwise endanger your smile.
  3. True or False: The procedure involves scaling and root planing.
  4. True or False: Without routine preventive care you may develop periodontal disease.

Answer Key

  1. At Least!. The American Dental Association recommends people undergo a thorough cleaning at least once every six months for healthy patients. However, if you have risk factors for periodontal disease the doctor may suggest a procedure once every three months to treat or manage the disease.
  2. True. Plaque buildup occurs as a byproduct of bacteria breaking down food particles. The buildup can weaken enamel, causing erosion and leading to tooth decay. In addition, the bacteria can also cause gum inflammation, increasing the risk of gum disease.
  3. True. If you have gum disease then your gums may recede and pull away from the teeth. Plaque then coats the tooth and root surfaces. Scaling and root planing removes the buildup from the teeth and the roots, allowing the healthy gum tissue to adhere to the tooth again.
  4. True. Without homecare and dental cleanings, you may start to notice your gums feel sore, appear red, or bleed easily. If so, then you may require immediate treatment to management periodontal disease.


To learn how to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life, subscribe to this blog, and visit Dr. Kania for a consultation. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann M. Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants to restore teeth lost to dental disease or trauma. Dr. Kania also offers the Pinhole® Surgical Technique (PST) for minimally-invasive, scalpel-free gum grafting. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, contact her office today at (760) 642-0711.