How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned? | The Benefits of Regular Dental Cleanings

She had her teeth cleaned

You’ve likely heard that you should get your teeth cleaned every six months to keep your oral hygiene in peak condition. But where does that number come from? Does it ring true for everyone?

The History Behind the Six-Month Rule

The most famous dental advice, ironically, comes from a marketing campaign and not a dentist.

Pepsodent Tooth Paste sponsored radio shows, including “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.” The series began airing in 1938 and ran for approximately 10 years on NBC. A decade after Claude Hopkins (who built his reputation by turning previously unknown products including Quaker Oats, and Goodyear Tires into household names) released his nationwide Pepsodent ad campaign, over 65% of Americans had a tube of Pepsodent in their medicine chests.

In the 40s, going to the dentist was something most people only did when they were already experiencing pain. But the Pepsodent ad decreed that viewers should brush twice a day and see their dentist twice a year. By the end of World War II, the US military downgraded concerns about recruits’ teeth because so many soldiers started brushing their teeth every day!

So How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned, Really?

Research on the frequency of cleaning is inconclusive because oral hygiene is different from person to person. The simple answer is that you should have your teeth cleaned as often as your dentist or oral hygienist recommends. This can depend on several factors, from smoking to diabetes to genetics to oral hygiene dedication.

Even if you practice excellent dental care at home, plaque reformation before six months is inevitable. Plaque and bacteria re-colonize in your mouth within 48 hours of a cleaning. The longer it stays, the more it calcifies and clings to your teeth. Once it’s calcified it must be removed with the special tools and skills of your dentist.

Preventative Care

Visiting your dentist frequently can also help diagnose early signs of dental issues like receding gums, new cavities, oral cancer, or anemia. And since periodontitis (gum disease) is directly linked with cardiovascular disease, catching and treating it helps you lower your risk of heart attack or stroke.

Good oral hygiene helps prevent cavities, tartar buildup, and gum disease. While the exact number of teeth cleanings you need may vary, you’re much less likely to experience issues by having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year.

Cleanings are essential to your oral health and your overall well-being. Dr. Arredondo at Dr. Dondo Dental Excellence supports good oral hygiene through the development of healthy dental habits. Contact Dr. Dondo Dental Excellence today to schedule your next teeth cleaning



  1. I had no idea that it could be important to have your teeth cleaned at least every 6 months because plaque and bacteria can infect your mouth pretty quickly. My family and I have recently moved into a new area and because of this, we don’t have a dentist and I know that my teeth need to get cleaned badly. Knowing that it’s been much longer than six months, I’ll have to start looking for a dentist in the area.

    • Dr. Dondo Dental Excellence : September 27, 2017 at 6:57 pm

      It looks like you might not be local to Central Oregon. If you are planning to move here we would love to take care of you and your family. Call us today for your cleaning and exam!

  2. My fiance and I have not been to get our teeth cleaning for over a year and we are getting a little worried. After reading that this visit can help prevent major gum diseases and other things like cavities I think we will have to schedule an appointment soon. Thanks, this was really helpful and informative.

    • Dr. Dondo Dental Excellence : September 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Alexandria,
      It looks like you might not be local to Central Oregon. If you are planning to move here we would love to take care of you and your fiancé. Call us today for your cleaning and exam!

  3. I really appreciate it when you sad that although a person practices good oral hygiene, plaque and bacteria can re-colonize inside the mouth shortly after cleaning, so it’s best to get dental cleaning regularly. I didn’t know that at first, and I was really convinced that I can take care of my teeth by myself. I realized that I was wrong when I suffered from bleeding gums last month. It might be a good idea to go to the dentist regularly from now on. Thank you for sharing.

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