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Have you had your teeth cleaned yet this year? Professional dental cleanings aren’t just for keeping your smile white. Teeth cleanings also have a significant impact on your overall health, and insufficient oral hygiene has been directly linked to several severe illnesses.
Are you a patient who is dedicated to thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth at home, and feel you have excellent oral hygiene habits? If so, you may be wondering if it is truly necessary for you to have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
The Facts About Routine Dental Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings, often referred to as dental exams or check-ups, have long been regarded as a critical component of your oral health. Visiting a dentist for a check-up and professional cleaning twice a year has become an expected healthcare mantra. Professional cleanings aren’t just for keeping your smile bright; they can have a significant impact on your general health.
Having your teeth cleaned provides:
- The removal of most of the surface stains that dull and discolor your teeth, resulting in a brighter, whiter smile.
- The prevention of gum disease, which leads to early tooth loss.
- A reduction in your chances of potentially deadly heart attacks and strokes since there is a strong link between cardiovascular disease and gum disease.
- An oral cancer screening to detect any early stages or indications of oral cancer.
- An exam to detect any early signs of broken fillings, cavities, or tooth fractures.
- The detection of any severe issues found during a routine exam helps save you money on dental expenses in the long run by taking advantage of your dental insurance.
What Science Has To Say
While there may be insufficient evidence to prove (or disprove) that routine dental cleanings are essential for oral health, there is certainly enough evidence to strongly suggest that it does. On a basic level, one only has to look at what a dental cleaning entails to understand that it is likely quite beneficial to your teeth. If bacterial buildup in the form of plaque causes cavities, then removing it will only be beneficial to the teeth.
Not only do professional cleanings remove plaque buildup, but they often involve a more thorough cleaning than patients can offer themselves. Routine dental cleanings also provide patients face time with a dental professional who can point out problem areas or dental concerns that a patient may otherwise not notice.
Dental Cleaning Vs. Deep Cleaning
Some of the confusion about the effectiveness of regular dental cleanings may lie in the comparison between two different dental procedures: routine dental cleanings and deep dental cleaning procedures.
Having your teeth deep cleaned might sound like something you should do after you’ve missed a few routine visits to the dentist. However, a deep cleaning is a specific procedure performed by your dental hygienist to treat gum and periodontal disease specifically. When a regular professional cleaning has not been regularly performed every six months, your chances of requiring deep cleaning increases.
Are Deep Cleanings Necessary?
Deep cleaning treatments, also known as scaling and root planing, involve the use of specialized tools to remove plaque, tartar, and calculus at and below the gumline. This is followed by smoothing, or planing, of a tooth’s roots to discourage bacteria and bio-film from attaching in the future.
For patients that do indeed have periodontal disease, deep cleaning procedures may not only be necessary but an ongoing regular occasion. Due to the difficulty of completely eradicating bacteria beneath the gumline once periodontal pockets have formed, patients may have to undergo multiple deep procedures over a period of time to keep the periodontal disease from progressing or returning.
Finding a Family Dentist You Can Trust
Professional dental cleanings allow your dentist and hygienist an opportunity to compare the state of your oral health to that of its previous visit. If your oral hygiene care has been lacking, immediate intervention can help to put you back on track. Regular check-ups help to prevent and resolve minor issues before they become expensive and extensive issues. Find a family dentist that you can trust, and schedule a cleaning for the entire family with Dr. Aubrey Baudean DDS today.