For years, as dentists, we looked in our patients' mouths, commenting on the amount of “tartar buildup” and bleeding, and telling them to brush and floss more often. As they would stand up, we would say, “See you in six (or three months” for your next cleaning. At times we probably made our patients feel bad. “But, Doc, I don’t get it. I brush twice a day, floss almost every day, and you are still telling me that my gums are not healthy.”
While brushing and flossing frequency are important as well as regular professional cleaning, we now know that there are so many issues at play in determining the extent, severity, and outcomes of treatment, for each individual patient.