Going to the dentist for regular cleanings is an important part of maintaining good oral health. Professional dental cleanings, or prophylaxis, help remove plaque and tartar buildup from teeth surfaces that cannot be reached by brushing and flossing alone. The American Dental Association recommends scheduling a professional dental cleaning at least twice a year, or every six months. This will help ensure that your teeth remain healthy and free from decay and other complications that can result from poor oral hygiene.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
Teeth cleaning is a procedure performed by a dentist or dental hygienist to remove tartar and plaque buildup from the teeth. It is an essential part of maintaining good dental health and preventing decay, cavities, and periodontal disease. Teeth cleaning involves scraping away built-up plaque and tartar from the surfaces of teeth using special tools. The process also includes polishing teeth to remove any remaining deposits and leave them looking brighter and cleaner. In addition, a fluoride treatment may also be applied to help strengthen teeth and protect them from decay.
The Importance of Having Your Teeth Cleaned Regularly
1. Prevent Tooth Decay
Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to cavities and other forms of decay, which can cause pain and make teeth more vulnerable to infection. Professional cleanings help remove plaque and tartar buildup before they have a chance to harden on the teeth’ surfaces. This helps reduce the risk of decay and keeps your mouth healthy.
2. Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is caused by bacteria that accumulate below the gum line when plaque and tartar buildup is not removed. This bacteria can cause inflamed gums, bone loss, and tooth loss if left unchecked. Professional teeth cleanings can help remove the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease while also helping to reduce the risk of further damage.
3. Improve Oral Hygiene Habits
Having a professional dental cleaning every six months can help reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly. During your appointment, your dentist or dental hygienist can review proper techniques with you and provide helpful tips to keep your smile healthy between visits.
4. Improved Appearance
Tartar and plaque buildup can cause discoloration on teeth surfaces, making them appear dull and yellowed. Professional cleanings help remove these deposits to reveal a brighter, whiter smile. Additionally, regular teeth cleanings can help prevent staining from foods and beverages that can cause teeth to look dingy or yellowed over time.
How Often Should You Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Cleaning?
Visiting the dentist for a professional cleaning every six months is the best way to maintain good oral hygiene and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Doing so will help remove tartar and plaque buildup that brushing and flossing alone cannot reach, as well as help prevent decay, cavities, bad breath, periodontal disease, staining, and other dental issues. Additionally, a professional cleaning will give you the opportunity to discuss any changes in your oral health with your dentist or hygienist and receive helpful tips on how to keep your smile looking its best.
Risk Factors That Affect How Often You Should Visit the Dentist
During pregnancy, hormonal changes can cause the gums to become inflamed and more sensitive, making them more prone to bacterial infections that can lead to gingivitis. For this reason, it is important for expecting mothers to visit their dentist every three months for professional cleanings and checkups in order to reduce their risk of gum disease.
2. Certain Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions can also affect how often you should visit the dentist for routine cleaning. Individuals with diabetes, heart disease, or other chronic illnesses are more prone to developing periodontal disease due to decreased immunity and circulation. Therefore, they may require more frequent cleanings in order to maintain good dental hygiene and reduce their risk of gum disease. Additionally, individuals with weakened immune systems due to cancer treatments or medications may also need to visit their dentist more often.
Children and seniors are also more prone to developing cavities and other oral health issues due to their changing tooth structure. Therefore, it is important for children and seniors to have regular dental checkups in order to ensure that any problems with their teeth are addressed quickly and properly.
The chemicals in cigarettes can weaken the immune system, making it easier for bacteria to accumulate and cause damage to the teeth and gums. Additionally, smoking can lead to discoloration of the teeth as well as decrease blood circulation in the gums which can worsen periodontal disease.
Tips to Help Keep Your Teeth Healthy in Between Visits
Here are a few tips to help keep your teeth healthy and strong in between visits to the dentist:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash to help reduce bacteria in your mouth
- Limit sugary snacks and drinks that can cause heavy plaque buildup and cavities
- Avoid using tobacco products, which can increase the risk of gum disease
- Regularly inspect your teeth for any signs of decay or other problems
- Visit your dentist on a regular basis for a professional dental cleaning and dental checkup
Schedule Your Dental Cleaning Appointment Today!
Taking care of your oral health is essential for maintaining overall well-being. Not only can regular professional teeth cleanings help your smile look its best, but they can also help prevent serious health issues from developing. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental visit, contact our dentist today to schedule an appointment!