How Often Do You Need a Dental Cleaning?

Regular dental cleanings play an essential role in maintaining optimal oral health. At Advanced Total Dental Care in Silver Spring, MD, we emphasize the importance of these appointments. Cleanings remove plaque and tartar, prevent cavities, and ensure your gums stay healthy. Understanding the frequency of these cleanings can help you maintain a brighter, healthier smile.  

A dental cleaning can remove plaque and tartar, prevent cavities, and ensure your gums stay healthy between visits.

Frequency of Dental Cleanings

Guidelines from the American Dental Association

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that most people visit their dentist for a professional cleaning every six months. These biannual visits help catch potential issues early, maintain oral hygiene, and prevent more severe problems. However, this guideline serves as a general recommendation. Your specific needs may vary based on several factors.

Factors Affecting Cleaning Frequency

Oral Health History

Individuals with a history of dental issues may require more frequent cleanings. If you have experienced cavities, gum disease, or other dental problems, your dentist might suggest visits every three to four months. These regular appointments help manage and monitor your oral health closely.

Presence of Dental Issues

Active dental issues such as gum disease or frequent plaque buildup necessitate more frequent cleanings. Regular visits allow the dental team at Advanced Total Dental Care to address these concerns promptly. More frequent cleanings can reduce the risk of further complications.

Overall Health Conditions

Certain medical conditions can influence how often you need dental cleanings. For instance, individuals with diabetes, heart disease, or weakened immune systems might require more frequent visits. These conditions make maintaining oral health more challenging, necessitating closer monitoring and care.

Signs You Might Need a Cleaning Sooner

Plaque and Tartar Buildup

If you notice plaque or tartar buildup on your teeth, schedule a cleaning as soon as possible. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, forms on your teeth daily. When not removed, it hardens into tartar, which only a professional can remove. The buildup of plaque and tartar can lead to cavities and gum disease.  

Gum Sensitivity or Bleeding

Sensitive gums or bleeding during brushing or flossing indicate that you may need a dental cleaning. These symptoms often suggest the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis. Addressing gingivitis promptly can prevent it from progressing into more severe gum disease.  

Persistent Bad Breath

Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, can also signal the need for a professional cleaning. While many factors contribute to bad breath, including diet and poor oral hygiene, unresolved dental issues often play a significant role. Regular cleanings help eliminate the bacteria causing bad breath.


Regular dental cleanings are crucial for maintaining good oral health and preventing future problems. Advanced Total Dental Care in Silver Spring, MD, encourages you to schedule cleanings based on your specific needs. Do not wait for issues to arise. Taking proactive steps ensures a healthy and beautiful smile. Consult with Dr. David L. Rever and his team to receive personalized recommendations tailored to your oral health.