A routine cleaning, or preventive cleaning, is typically done every three to six months to maintain a healthy mouth. At each visit, we perform a comprehensive evaluation and take measurements of your gums (perio pockets) to check for bone loss.
Your toothbrush and floss can maintain healthy gums by reaching bacteria as deep as 3mm under the gum line. So when measurements are within the 1-3mm range with no bleeding and a healthy microscope bacteria sample, we prescribe a regular cleaning. A regular cleaning involves removal of plaque, flossing, and polishing the teeth.
However, when bleeding (inflammation) is present and the pocket depths reach 4mm or more, the bacteria causes the gum tissue to pull away from the tooth and bacteria to crawl further into the gums and further from the reach of your toothbrush and floss. Along with deeper pockets, you can also expect to see dangerous bacteria on the microscope slide. When this is the case, a regular cleaning is insufficient to fix the problem, and we may recommend a deep cleaning or a two stage cleaning.