Do I really need to get my teeth cleaned every six months? I've read that there's not any proof it really helps me avoid cavities or tooth decay.

6mo standard minimum. The reasons for your recare (cleaning+exam frequency) are many: 1. Control gum disease (the "silent" tooth killer that is linked with heart disease, diabetes & a growing list of health problems); 2. Screen for oral cancers (there are about 30, 000 cases every year & about 1/3 are fatal often due to late detection); 3. Find cavities early (smaller cavities=simpler+less expensive treatment).
Yes. Many conditions can be detected and treated before they become unpleasant, time-consuming, costly and potentially dangerous problems. Patients who see their hygienist on a scheduled basis are more likely to have healthier bone and gums and to keep their teeth significantly longer. Poor oral health can affect your ability to properly chew and digest your food, leading to serious nutritional and sy.
Sometimes more often. Actually i'm not do sure the proof you read was all that accurate. A professional dental cleaning is essential in removing " biofilm" from your teeth and that is the building block of paler and tarter! every individual based one their own biology builds up biofilm at s different rate. Most people are within normal limits at 6 months, but some would benefit from dental cleanings every 60 days!
Most likely. The arbitrary twice a year visit was actually started by an old toothpaste commercial! many people need more than two a year, some could get away with less, but twice a year is right for the majority of people. As stated above the cleaning is important to prevent periodontal disease and the exams are needed to detect decay and other pathologies. Only good homecare and diet prevents cavities!
First . First of all cavities and tooth decay are the same thing. Having said that, if you go twice per year and you do get a cavity it will be caught much earlier and be able to be fixed more afford-ably without needing to do a root canal. What going and having your teeth twice per year really helps is in the prevention of periodontal (gum) disease which is the leading cause of tooth loss. It is now known that patients that have periodontal disease have a much higher risk of some systemic diseases, such as heart disease (approximately 50% increase), stroke, and several forms of cancer. So bottom line, if you have your teeth cleaned twice a year you will probably live longer by preventing those systemic diseases.