There’s no doubt you’ve heard the recommendation: everyone should have their teeth cleaned at the dentist’s office once every six months. Have you ever wondered why that is? What is it about dental teeth cleaning that makes it so important? Why should you have to do it so often? Is it really that helpful?
These are all legitimate questions, which is why we want to answer them as clearly and honestly as possible. Here are the three questions about teeth cleaning we hear the most, and our best answers to each of them. Hopefully, our answers will demonstrate why teeth cleaning is so important, and why you should see a dental professional to have it done.
Why should I see my dentist to have my teeth cleaned?
When dentists or dental hygienists clean your teeth, they’re providing several different services at once. First, they remove tartar build-up on your teeth. Removing tartar early prevents it from seriously affecting your tooth and gum health by causing decay or disease. Second, they can identify signs of serious health risks like chronic inflammatory gum disease or even mouth cancer. The earlier your dentist or hygienist identifies these problems, the more effective subsequent treatment will be.
Establishing a regular dental cleaning routine has considerable long-term health benefits. Every time you see your dentist or hygienist, for instance, they can evaluate the efficiency of your personal dental care regimen. Following their recommendations will help you keep your mouth healthy over time. Dentists can also monitor the condition of possible dental problems and help make sure they don’t grow worse. You could think of a regular dental cleaning and check-up appointment as a check-in with your dental health “coaches.” Plus, you’ll leave with a brighter and healthier smile!
How often should I have my teeth cleaned at the dentist?
We believe the old “get your teeth cleaned once every six months” rule is a good standard for most people, but it may not work for everyone. No two people have exactly the same dental health, so it’s impractical to recommend the exact same schedule for everyone. Ultimately, how often you should see your dentist depends on several risk factors. People with a history of chronic gum disease should visit their dentists more often than others. Diet, health history, personal dental care regimen, and even genetics all affect an individual’s susceptibility to tooth decay.
The best way to figure out how often you should see your dentist is by speaking with your dentist. Ask them how often they recommend you come in to see them and ask them to explain why. Your dentist can point out what your specific risk factors are and how they can help you with them. They’ll be able to tell you how often you should have your teeth cleaned.
What can dentists and dental hygienists do to clean teeth that I can’t?
Did you know that there’s a big difference between plaque and tartar? Plaque is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and under your gums all day. Plaque contains millions of bacteria, which combine with sugars in food to produce acid. Over time, this acid wears away at the enamel on teeth, resulting in cavities. You can remove plaque yourself by brushing and flossing it away.
When plaque isn’t removed, it hardens, or mineralizes, into tartar. Tartar triggers tooth decay just like plaque can, but it’s much harder to get rid of. In addition to the cavity risk, tartar can cause gum recession and disease. Unfortunately, it can’t be removed by brushing and flossing better at home. The only reliable way to remove tartar from your mouth is with a professional’s help. Dentists and dental hygienists use specially designed instruments called scalers to reach deposits of tartar and remove them from the teeth and gums. Without professional teeth cleaning, tartar would continue to build up and cause increasingly severe problems.
How long has it been since your last teeth cleaning? If you’re overdue for a check-up, you can get in touch with ImmediaDent any time. Our 9 to 9, seven day a week schedule means we can fit you in whenever you can make it. We’re always happy to answer your questions and set you on the right path toward long-term dental health.