We always hear that one rule about the frequency of professional dental cleanings—that it is recommended to go to the dentist at least twice a year. The question is, is it really a standard to go every six months?
Tartar and plaque buildup in the mouth goes at a fast rate. After cleaning, the bacteria responsible for plaque buildup begins to re-colonize the mouth which takes about 24 to 48 hours. Despite proper oral hygiene and a healthy diet, it is not possible for a person to be a hundred percent plaque-free. Once the plaque calcifies into the teeth and forms into tartar, it can only be removed by a hygienist or dental professional.
Where did the six-month rule of dental cleaning originate from?
According to one source, this rule originated from a popular television show in the 50s. It was originally a popular radio show that got a television adaptation. Later on, it was sponsored by a dental product brand. The ad campaign for the said brand became a success. And for their product to gain the approval of dentists, they included in their ad a statement that people must see the dentist twice a year. Until now, the six-month rule of dental cleaning is still being practiced.
The final verdict is…
The state of dental health varies from person to person—each of them has a different diet and lifestyle. That is why teeth cleaning habits differ, as well. It is inevitable for tartar and plaque to form in the mouth, but due to various factors, they all develop at different rates for each individual. Going twice a year is better than nothing, but it is better to consult a dentist and get assessed instead of relying on the six-month rule. Especially for those with orthodontic treatments or gum disease, the frequency of dental visits will vary indefinitely.
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