Is it possible to clean your teeth so well that there is no bleeding during bi-annual cleanings or is this goal unreasonable?

I am especially curious about the experience of dentists. If you have patients who don't bleed during cleanings, what is the percentage of patients? 1 in 10? 1 in 20?

  • If you need bi-annual cleanings, then that in itself suggests that you are not cleaning your teeth very well. Jul 11, 2015 at 16:23
  • @CountIblis A bit off topic, but if you don't want to do it bi-annually, that's fine, but note that most professionals think even if you clean your teeth perfectly on a daily basis, you will have plaque after 6 months. Also, with national insurance, it only costs me USD$3 to get a cleaning, so I choose to play it safe...
    – kfmfe04
    Jul 12, 2015 at 13:36
  • @kfmfe04 just a little clarification: Biofilm and plaque start accumulating almost immediately after a cleaning, but that can be controlled by flossing and brushing. Visits to the dentist are necessary, because some of the plaque becomes tarter/calculus, and cannot be removed by the patient.
    – enap_mwf
    Nov 28, 2015 at 10:15

1 Answer 1


It may depend on the pH of your mouth and saliva. Some people get more plaque and tartar than other people and it's inevitable to need more work during the bi-annual cleaning. If you are lucky and your pH and composition of saliva lead to less plaque, then it's also easier to avoid bleeding.

In any case, the dentist needs to go below the gum line and this may easily bring some limited bleeding. It doesn't mean you are not cleaning your teeth well enough.

Source for the first paragraph: common sense but also http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-051X.2010.01673.x/abstract "The composition of the oral microbiota is influenced by temperature, pH, and atmosphere, as well as by the host defences and host genetics. In addition, the host supplies endogenous nutrients and a variety of surfaces for biofilm formation. In health, the resident oral microbiota forms a symbiotic relationship with the host, regulated by active host–microbe cross talk."

Source for the second paragraph: none official.

  • 1
    Welcome to Health SE! This post has the makings of a very good answer, but here on Health, we strongly encourage using references. They are the only way in which we can tell if information is reliable or not. If you are struggling to find good sources, check out, What are reliable sources? If you want to learn more about our site's stance on answers without references, check out, Should answers without references be immediately deleted? Thanks :)
    – michaelpri
    Sep 2, 2015 at 17:15
  • The source is my dentist, who said exactly what I wrote. I updated the answer.
    – FarO
    Sep 3, 2015 at 15:06
  • 1
    Though your dentist may be a reliable source for you, personally, here on Health we need sources that can be reliable to everyone, ie: reliable medicals websites, medical textbooks.
    – michaelpri
    Sep 3, 2015 at 15:08
  • Well I added something, I see from other questions you are quite strict about references. I definitely appreciate it, even if in this case the question (and therefore the answer) seems just a matter of common sense to me. But I provided the reference for some of the answer. The second part seems inevitable given the first one, so I did not perform an extensive search to prove it.
    – FarO
    Sep 3, 2015 at 15:26

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