Did you know that there are more than a dozen diseases that can be linked to bad oral health, including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, and more? Keeping your teeth healthy is about more than just maintaining a nice smile – although that’s important, too. And getting routine dental cleanings can be a critical part of keeping your teeth healthy.
Before you go for a dental cleaning, you may have a few questions about the process. Read on to learn more about dental cleanings and what you can expect from these appointments.
How Many Dental Cleanings Should I Have a Year?
For most people, getting your teeth cleaned every six months should be enough to keep them in good condition. This will give your hygienist a chance to remove any tartar and plaque that’s built up since your last cleaning. Your dentist will also be able to keep tabs on any issues with your teeth and handle them before they get too bad.
In some cases, you may need to visit your dentist more than a couple of times a year. If you have periodontal disease or another serious dental issue, your dentist may want to see you every three months or so. It’s best to talk to your dentist to find out how often you should have your teeth cleaned.
How Long Do Dental Cleanings Take?
When you’re fitting a cleaning appointment into your busy schedule, it helps to know how long they last. In most cases, the length of your dental cleaning will depend on the particular patient. For instance, kids’ cleanings may take a little longer since they may be restless or may need reassurance during the cleaning.
In general, dental cleanings can take between thirty minutes and an hour, although serious cleanings could last longer. If it’s been a long time since your last cleaning or if you have problems with your teeth, your cleaning may be on the longer end of the spectrum. If you brush and floss regularly and your teeth are healthy, you can expect to stay closer to the thirty-minute mark.
What Happens During a Cleaning?
Knowing what to expect during your dental cleaning can make the process easier for you and your kids. Your hygienist will start by placing a paper bib on your chest and leaning you back in a comfortable chair. Then they’ll begin to clean your teeth using small metal instruments to scrape off plaque and tartar.
As your hygienist cleans your teeth, they’ll offer you water to rinse your mouth out with. Once all the plaque has been removed. your hygienist will polish your teeth using a small vibrating device like an electric toothbrush. Finally, they’ll floss your teeth and may use a fluoride treatment to keep your teeth strong and healthy.
How Much Do Dental Cleanings Cost?
If you don’t have dental insurance, you may be wondering how much your dental cleaning is going to cost you. As with the length of your dental appointment, your cleaning cost will vary a lot depending on your particular situation. The amount of time your cleaning takes and the services you require will determine your cost.
In general, routine cleanings will cost between $125 and $175, with most people paying somewhere around $150. If you add x-rays, your price will go up to somewhere between $50 and $100, and the same goes for additional services. You may also have to pay more if you have a lot of plaque or if your cleaning takes a long time.
Does Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings?
If you do have dental insurance, your insurer should cover some or all of your dental cleaning costs. Getting your teeth cleaned on a regular basis helps to prevent larger issues from developing later on. From your insurer’s perspective, your semi-annual cleaning is an investment to keep them from having to cover larger expenses down the road.
How much your insurance covers will depend on the particular company your policy is with. It will also depend on the policy you have and whether or not you’ve met your deductible for the year. If you’re unsure how much your insurance will cover, it’s best to call your company or talk to your dentist.
When Should Children Start Getting Cleanings?
If you have children, getting them started on healthy dental habits early can keep their smiles beautiful for their whole lives. Getting their teeth cleaned when they’re young can start instilling those healthy habits. But how early should you start taking your kids for routine dental cleaning?
You might be surprised to learn that you should take your child to the dentist for the first time around three years old. This will give their dentist a chance to check that all of their teeth are coming in properly and start preparing for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Learn More About Dental Cleanings
Routine dental cleanings are an important way to keep your teeth clean and to start dealing with problems early. Unless your dentist tells you otherwise, it’s best to get your teeth cleaned twice a year. You’ll also want to start taking your kids when they’re a year old or so to start their healthy habits early.
If you’d like to learn more about dental cleanings, check out the rest of our site at The Dental Team. We are committed to excellence and providing compassionate care for our clients. Find a location near you today and start getting care you can trust.