Logo top half

Call our office today to schedule your appointment!

How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

January 31, 2024
How Often Should You

Children, teens, and adults should see a dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and oral exam. Infants should see a dentist for the first time when they get their first tooth, or reach their second birthday. Patients with active gum disease, a history of cavities, certain dental restorations, or pregnant patients may benefit from more frequent cleanings. 

Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings

Seeing your dentist regularly offers preventive and early detection benefits. As a preventive treatment, regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. Plaque is to blame for a variety of oral health problems including cavities, gum disease, infections, and tooth loss. As a bonus, plaque removal also keeps your teeth looking their best.


Regular cleanings include a comprehensive oral exam which affords for the earliest detection of small problems before they become more significant problems. For example, your dentist may diagnose early-stage gum disease (gingivitis), before you begin experiencing symptoms such as pain, bleeding, and swelling as the disease progresses. Likewise, tiny fractures in the teeth may be found in a digital X-ray that can be treated with a filling or crown, before an infection develops, requiring a root canal

Do I Need to Go to the Dentist if I Have Good Teeth and Oral Health?

Dental cleanings, and accompanying oral exams are preventive treatments. No matter how diligent you are about brushing and flossing, plaque will build up on the teeth that your at-home oral hygiene habits just cannot remove. 


Failing to have the plaque and tartar that builds up between dental cleanings removed will ultimately lead to problems such as:

  • Tooth discoloration (yellowing)
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Bad breath
  • Infections
  • Tooth loss


Reasons to See the Dentist More Frequently Than Every Six Months

The recommendation for a cleaning and oral exam every six months applies to people without known oral health problems. Patients who are susceptible to gum disease may need to see the dentist every three months to manage the condition. Likewise, patients who are prone to decay (cavities) may benefit from more frequent dental cleanings and exams. 


Patients with diabetes or a weakened immune system may also benefit from more frequent dental visits.  During pregnancy, it can also be beneficial to see the dentist more frequently as hormonal changes and dietary changes can lead to excess acid or sugar in the saliva, leading to gum disease or cavities.   

Preparing for Your Dental Cleaning

Before you arrive for your dental cleaning, you should make note of any changes in your oral health that you’ve noticed since your last check-up. Be sure you remember any issues with pain in the gums, teeth, or jaw.  Unexplained morning headaches or facial pain should be shared with your dentist.


Likewise, you should make a note of any health diagnosis, or change in medications and share them with your dentist. If your dental insurance has changed since your last appointment, make sure you bring your new insurance information.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a dental cleaning take?

Dental cleanings take 30-60 minutes. Your appointment, including your exam, and any future appointment scheduling is almost always completed within 90 minutes. 


Are dental cleanings covered by insurance?

Most dental insurance policies do cover preventive care including dental cleanings and oral exams. To confirm your specific coverage, contact your insurance carrier. 

Schedule a Dental Cleaning in Holyoke, MA

If it’s been six months or longer since your last dental cleaning, book an appointment at Oakdale Dental Associates in Holyoke, MA by calling 413-536-1782. To best serve patients, appointments are available as early as 8:00 am Monday-Friday. Oakdale Dental Associates accepts insurance, credit card payments, and CareCredit financing.

Recent Posts

Contact Us

Oakdale Dental Associates
1820 Northampton Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
Tel: 413-536-1782 | Fax: 413-532-1400
Monday | 8:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday | 8:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday | 8:00am - 5:00pm
Thursday | 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday | 8:00am - 1:00pm
Saturday | Closed
Sunday | Closed

Contact our office today to schedule your appointment!

1820 Northampton Street Holyoke, MA 01040
Appointment Request
First Name
Last Name