A look at how regularly you should be getting a professional clean to maintain good oral health.

Been a while between cleans?

We all know that brushing twice daily is the standard for maintaining good oral health, but how often should you be getting your teeth professionally cleaned? Watch below to see Pacific Smiles dentist Dr Rama Chockalingam answer the question.

So, how often should you be getting your teeth cleaned?

According to Dr Chockalingam, the general guideline is to have a professional clean every six months. However, this may vary depending on your needs, and the state of your teeth. For example, people with active gum disease may require a professional clean every three months, whereas those with excellent oral health may decide with their dentist that an annual visit is fine. While every six months can be used as a guide, the best thing you can do is ask your dentist.

Why is teeth cleaning necessary?

On top of removing plaque, during a professional clean dentists will also scale your teeth, which is the removal of calculus -- the hardened plaque that often builds up behind the lower teeth and in other areas. As calculus cannot be cleaned with a toothbrush, it should be removed by your dentist on a regular basis to assist gum health.

Are there risks associated with not getting your teeth cleaned regularly?

Plaque is a common factor for both gum disease and dental decay, so removal of it on a regular basis reduces the risk of oral diseases occurring. And interestingly, we’re increasingly learning that maintaining good oral health is important for maintaining overall health. Research is now showing a link between gum disease and systemic diseases, such as heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis, amongst others.

Think you might be suffering from an oral health issue?

If you think you might be living with an oral health condition, pay the dentist a visit to get it checked out. Medibank now offers all members with extras cover 100% back on your annual dental check-up, except x-rays, at a Members Choice dentist.

Get more tips on looking after your pearly whites.

Listen now for tips on how to look after your children's teeth.