Do you visit the dentist for a teeth cleaning every 6 months? Chances are good that you do not. Many adults take up to 12 months or more to visit the dentist for an exam or cleaning. Significant amounts of plaque tend to accumulate along the gum line, even though you may be brushing and flossing regularly. Extended absences from the dentist only increase the accumulation of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. Eventually, a process called debridement may be necessary to remove hard-to-reach plaque and restore general oral health.