Comprehensive dental exams and cleanings are recommended once every six months. These exams help identify tooth decay, or early signs of gum disease or oral cancer, through diagnostic X-rays and a physical examination. Early detection of these conditions helps ensure effective treatment and prevent permanent damage. Regular cleanings help keep teeth clean and healthy. A dental cleaning includes removal of tartar and plaque, which can build up and cause inflammation and disease if left untreated. The teeth are also polished to remove stains that often cannot be removed by at-home toothbrushing.