Sadly, despite being considered a necessity, not everyone goes to the dentist regularly for cleaning. The standing advice for patients who have good teeth and oral cleaning habits is to schedule a cleaning twice every year, or roughly every six months. However, many people don’t do this for various reasons, including financial setbacks and a lack of care.
Here are the reasons why you should visit your dentist regularly for cleaning:
Cleaning Eliminates Bacteria That Trigger Plaque Formation
Teeth cleaning every six months is necessary to keep down the population of bacteria that produce dental plaque. The bacterial plaque will stick like glue to your teeth and initiates the process of calcifying into tartar, which is why tooth decay sets in.
Even people who brush their teeth at least twice a day and are generally in good oral health will experience this. Once the plaque has hardened into tartar, it’ll take special dentistry tools in the to remove it to save your teeth.
Your Dentist Needs to Check Your Oral Health
A dentist is naturally the best person to consult regarding your oral health. They need to conduct a biannual teeth cleaning to determine if you have any other dental problems aside from plaque build-up and prevent them from worsening.
Medical problems can also be detected during a teeth cleaning session. Examples of medical problems your dentist can warn you about are:
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Oral Cancer
- Receding Gumline
- Gingivitis (early onset of gum disease)
So, don’t forget to organize regular dental cleaning by Grove City Dental, or another dentist in your area, to ensure your teeth remain in great health.
Your Teeth May Need to Be Polished to Remove Stains
Don’t be surprised if your dentist recommends that your teeth should be polished after the biannual cleaning session. Your dentist is probably able to see stains on your teeth, such as those induced by smoking or alcohol consumption.
Both the cleaning session and the teeth polishing treatment will help your teeth look whiter and more presentable.
You May Need a Professional Fluoride Treatment During Your Next Visit
Your dentist may inform you that you need to undergo a fluoride treatment at least every six months—especially if the checkup showed that you have dental problems. This fluoride treatment, done after your teeth have been cleaned, will help cut down the risk of developing further dental issues. So, it may be wise to agree to the fluoride treatment as well.
Examples of dental problems you can avoid with biannual fluoride treatment are:
- Tooth Extraction
- Need for Fillings
You May Require More Frequent Cleaning Sessions
Some people need to visit their dentist more often for a clean because they have serious dental problems that require regular attention, such as those prone to cavities or at risk of developing gum disease.
For example, if you have advanced gum disease—also known as periodontal disease—then that’s a sign that your oral care habits are not robust enough to prevent problems from progressing. Remember, only by looking into your mouth can the dentist determine whether your oral care is sufficient.
You May Require Treatment for Your Gums
Dental scaling and root planing require the use of dental tools to remove substances from below the gum line. The space between your teeth and your gums is often the repository of many substances, such as food particles and tartar. Your regular brushing and flossing habits will not remove those from below the gumline. Hence, your dentist must dig between your teeth and gums to clean out those particles.
You know you’ll require dental scaling if you have bleeding gums, which is a sign of gingivitis. Other symptoms are bad breath and gum tenderness (felt when you floss between teeth).
Not only can you lose your teeth from gum disease, but the disease can eat away at your bones. There could even be an abscess or cyst developing in your gums, so dental scaling can help to identify and treat these issues before they worsen.
Your Dentist Needs to X-Ray Your Teeth and Bones
If your dentist suspects that you have more severe dental problems than are apparent with a simple oral checkup, they may have to x-ray your teeth and facial bones.
X-rays may show signs of damage or problems, such as:
- Bone Decay (along the jawbone)
- Impacted Teeth
- Oral Tumors
- Oral Cysts
- Swollen Gums
Naturally, these would necessitate more dental treatments to resolve them. Simply increasing the frequency with which you brush, and the use of strong fluoride-based toothpaste won’t do the trick. Even adding a mouthwash to your regular brushing routine will not solve major problems.
The dentist will know the best dental treatments to address any serious dental problems.
You Are Pregnant and Therefore at Risk of Additional Dental Problems
Being pregnant can leave you open to developing dental problems. One reason for this is that your pregnancy concerns may lead you to forget to be diligent about oral care. You may even forget to just brush your teeth, floss and gargle with mouthwash because of the changes happening to your body as the fetus develops.
The problem with this is that the fetus can be affected by poor dental care habits. The risks that you face when you’re pregnant and neglect your oral health are:
- Gestational diabetes
- Intrauterine growth restriction
- Premature delivery
- Pregnancy gingivitis
- Loosened teeth or permanent loss of teeth
- Tooth decay related to morning sickness
- Poor teeth development of the fetus
If these seem to be present in your case, you should talk to your dentist.
You Have Bad Breath
Another problem that many people are unaware of is developing bad breath. Though you may brush your teeth regularly, floss and gargle with mouthwash, the bad breath might be quite persistent. You’ll need to schedule a checkup with your dentist who’ll check for the source of bad breath.
One possible cause of bad breath is tooth decay, especially among Millenials. A visit to the dentist is the best way to address the problem. After all, it can get embarrassing when you are in public or have a meeting with an important client and someone tactfully looks away when it’s your turn to speak.
You Wear Braces
If your teeth are fitted with dental braces, you will need special attention from the dentist during a regular teeth cleaning session. Like other dental patients, you need to see the dentist at least every six months for a thorough dental cleaning. It is just a bit more complicated for you, as the dentist must take care not to dislodge the braces you’re wearing.
One reason you need special treatment is that it can be more difficult for patients fitted with braces to clean their teeth thoroughly with a toothbrush. So, you may already have plaque accumulating around the braces themselves. The dentist will scrape off that plaque for you.
Your dentist may use a special kind of floss that fits in between the wires of your braces. The dentist will floss your teeth to get rid of trapped food particles missed in your regular brushing routine. They will also pay special attention to your gumline.
Take note that the dentist may recommend you get a fluoride treatment as well to further strengthen your teeth. If you wear dental braces and are not sure how to clean your teeth on your own, it’s best to consult your dentist for advice about that as well.
Your Current Health Insurance Plan May Already Cover the Cost of Dental Cleaning
There are some health insurance plans that offer coverage for twice-a-year dental cleaning. So, check your health insurance plan to see whether yours includes these provisions and if so, you should take advantage and go to your dentist for a much-needed dental clean.
If your health insurance doesn’t cover dental cleaning, it may be wise to switch to one that does or invest funds towards dental cleaning anyway. Not only will the dental cleaning leave you with a healthier mouth, but it may give you better financial opportunities. For instance, you may feel more confident applying for a job at a company if your smile is clean and healthy. It’s a great investment in your health and general wellbeing.
Some people are hesitant to go to their dentist for a much-needed dental cleaning due to concerns about their finances. However, regular dental cleaning is very important for your health and can play an important role in the prevention of serious illnesses. As hard as it may be to believe, great oral care habits and a commitment to biannual dental cleaning can help you avoid or be diagnosed early with many major illnesses such as a cardiovascular disease and mouth cancer. Additionally, good dental hygiene can boost confidence and self-esteem, helping you to become more financially stable in the future.