Ask Dr. Diesburg: Do I really have to go to the dentist every 6 months?

Dear Dr. Diesburg,

Do I really need cleanings every 6 months?

Rob in Newberg

Dear Rob,

No one is completely sure where the 6-month rule came from, and research has shown that there is really no evidence for it.

But — and this is a really strong but — like all health generalizations, there is a powerful truth behind the six-month rule, and it all depends on you.

If you are doing a great job with your home care, have no teeth in danger of getting cavities, and your gums are in great shape, one cleaning a year sometimes make sense. We see this with some patients. We also have patients with advancing gum disease who are on a three-month schedule to keep things in check.

The only way to know what your personal schedule is would be to have me watch carefully and see what’s going on in your mouth. Individualized dental care means assessing each patient’s need, and I’m happy to work with you to determine the right schedule for you.

Happy brushing!

Dr. Adam Diesburg

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