You come in for your regular dental visit—already putting you ahead of the 34 percent of Americans who skip their yearly checkup. After the usual prodding and scraping, the hygienist tut-tuts and informs you that because you were lax on brushing and flossing, you'll need to come back to the dentist chair again next week for a "deep cleaning" under the gumline.
Suddenly, asked to pony up for an extra service from the dentist that you've never heard of before, you might ask yourself: Is it a scam?
Surely the twice-a-year teeth cleanings matter? In 2005, Evidence-Based Dentistry highlighted a systematic review on the effects of routine scaling and polishing (you call it teeth cleaning). Researchers found eight randomized controlled trials that were on point, but they were all judged as having a high risk of bias. The results were all over the map. Their conclusions were that the evidence isn’t of sufficient quality to reach any conclusions as to the benefits or harms of scaling and polishing.
Researchers have long suspected that early humans wedged sticks into their teeth to clean them, Hardy said.
Chimpanzees, which are connected to humans via a common ancestor, use sticks and pieces of grass to clean between their teeth.
Dental professionals recommend a teeth cleaning every six months. Some people can get by with less frequent visits to the dentist, others should consider going even more often.
The results were not heartening for those of us who have suffered through dozens upon dozens of cleanings. The meta analysis of qualifying studies suggested that the evidence was mixed, at best. For example, there is not strong evidence that hygienist cleaning reduces gingivitis...
In its latest position paper, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association advises that polishing should not be considered a routine part of a dental cleaning. So feel free to skip it.
Teeth cleanings are essential not just for clean teeth, but a healthy mind and body as well. But for such a routine visit, there’s lots that people don’t know about. Here’s what you should know and what you should expect out of your next teeth cleaning.
For decades, dentists have urged all adults to schedule preventive visits every six months. But a new study finds that annual cleanings may be adequate for adults without certain risk factors for periodontal disease while people with a high risk may need to go more often.