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Sebo Marketing October 18th, 2021

How Often Do You Need Checkups and Cleanings?


Everyone is different and your frequency of dental cleanings and examinations should be determined by your dentist and hygienist based on your past history of dental problems and the present conditions in your mouth.

The old rule of “twice a year cleanings” dates back to a deal made between a toothpaste manufacturer, the American Dental Association and the producers of the “Amos and Andy” radio show in the 1940’s. Here is the story, for your amusement.

In the 1940’s, most Americans were not going to the dentist for routine examinations. The toothpaste company wanted to advertise on the popular radio show. They also wanted the American Dental Association to give them the official ADA Seal of Approval. The American Dental Association wanted to encourage Americans to visit the dentist. And the radio show wanted the advertising revenue. The deal they struck is that the toothpaste company would run the ads on the radio show and, in exchange for an exclusive ADA Seal of Approval for their toothpaste, they would end each commercial for their toothpaste with the words “…and see your dentist twice a year.”

This advertising campaign made the toothpaste the number one selling toothpaste in America and this rather unscientific reason, by sheer power of repetition, became the standard for twice a year check-ups.

So, how often should you go to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings and still maintain optimal dental health?

  • If you brush and floss daily, have no bleeding gums, no visible inflammation in your gums and a history of slight to moderate decay, you can safely go twice a year.
  • If you do not consistently floss, occasionally have bleeding gums and a history of moderate decay and gum pockets, as measured by the dentist or hygienist, of 4-5 mm, you really need to get professional cleanings every three to four months.
  • If you have a history of gum disease requiring treatment, such as scaling and root planing or gum surgery, you absolutely must get cleanings every 3 months.
  • If you have a history of a lot of decay and restorations and gum disease, and don’t consistently brush and floss daily plus use a dental irrigator, you may need professional cleanings every 2 months to maintain optimal dental health.


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