Cleanings Every Six Months: Is Pepsodent to Blame?

After six months without a professional dental cleaning, many people admit their teeth feel pretty scary: A little dark, maybe even a little fuzzy. Dental experts tend to agree that six months is a good interval between cleanings, but how and when did six months become the pearly white rule?

According to one interesting source, Mark Burhenne DDS, on “Ask the Dentist,” it all started with Pepsodent. To encourage dentists to recommend its product, the company that manufactured Pepsodent featured the following line in its ad campaigns: “Visit your dentist every six months.”

Another idea, this time from the Dental Wellness Institute, indicates that the six month recommendation might be related to the gestation of tooth decay.  Decay caught early can prevent serious tooth damage, and when you take periodontal disease into account—which under the right conditions can start much sooner than six months—the case for more frequent cleanings becomes more convincing.

So how often should you have your teeth cleaned? The truth is that it varies, and that you’ll find the best answer by talking with your dentist and dental hygienist. Perhaps you could get away with a year, but perhaps you should have a cleaning every three or four months. Why? If you have periodontal disease, significant dental restorations, or chronic inflammatory disease such as heart disease or diabetes you’ll want to be checked more frequently.

For more quick and easy dental health tips, download our free e-book, 10 Secrets to Dental Health. And if you’d like to make an appointment with east side Milwaukee dentists who get their teeth cleaned every six months, make an appointment today.