Importance of Dental Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are an essential part of good oral hygiene. Besides keeping your teeth and gums healthy, a regular dental cleaning allows your dentist to get a look at what’s going on with your teeth so that issues like cavities or gingivitis can be treated early. At Green Tree Dental we recommend that patients do a dental visit at least every 6 months. By visiting your dentist every six months for a dental cleaning1, you can keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape and also avoid developing major dental problems between visits.
Why dental cleaning visits are important:
If your dental health is important to you and you like to keep your smile shining, you probably already understand the importance of regular dental visits for cleaning the teeth. But, if you’ve never had a dental cleaning or if you’re wondering whether dental cleanings are high priority or not, consider the following benefits of getting your teeth cleaned twice each year at Green Tree Dental:
● Cavity Prevention
One of the most obvious reasons why people visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings is to avoid cavities. It’s much more cost-effective to get a cleaning than to fill a cavity or get a root canal, after all. And teeth cleanings are also a much more pleasant experience than having dental caries filled.
● Tooth Loss Prevention
Gum disease is a serious issue. It starts when plaque builds up on the teeth. As gum disease progresses, the plaque moves down into the tooth where it can destroy supporting bone tissues in the jaw. When this happens, the teeth become loose and begin to fall out. Dental cleanings greatly reduce the odds that a patient will lose their teeth due to gum disease.
● Keep Your Breath Fresh
Dental cleaning helps control the bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for causing bad breath. Though brushing and flossing the teeth regularly can help keep the breath fresh, a professional dental cleaning every 6 months is also important for maintaining an odor-free oral environment.
● Save Money
Some dental insurance plans have low or no copayments for dental cleanings and oral exams, so it can be a huge savings to schedule regular cleanings. And even if your insurance doesn’t cover dental cleanings, patients often find that as a result of regular visits to the dentist, they’re much less likely to need expensive procedures done later on.
● Brighten Your Smile
Who wouldn’t be smiling about saving money on dental costs, but regardless of the financial benefits, patients who get regular dental cleanings have whiter, brighter teeth with fewer stains and far less plaque and tartar.
● Boost Your General Health
The health of your teeth and gums can have a profound impact on general health. The roots of your teeth, after all, are located near your sinus and brain cavities. An infection in a tooth can lead to serious health consequences as a result. On the other hand, regular dental check-ups and cleanings can boost your overall health and help you avoid some serious health issues later on down the road.
What happens during dental cleaning visits?
As a general rule, there are two parts to a dental cleaning visit: the oral examination and the cleaning. During the exam, the dentist will check your teeth for cavities. In some cases, x-rays might be taken to find cavities located between the teeth. The dentist will also look for issues like gum disease or plaque and tartar on the teeth.
There are several important things besides cavities that the dentist looks for during a dental cleaning. Plaque and tartar, gum disease, and cancer indicators are all vital aspects of the teeth cleaning appointment.
Plaque and Tartar
Plaque on the teeth is nothing more than a clear, sticky layer of bacterial colonies. If this sticky substance isn’t removed, it will become hard and turn into tartar. Tartar doesn’t respond to brushing or flossing. Only a dentist can remove tartar from the teeth and once this substance builds up on the teeth, the patient becomes susceptible to a variety of oral diseases.
At Green Tree Dental, we always check our patients for gum disease because healthy gums provide an important foundation for healthy teeth. To check gum health, we use a special tool that measures how deep the space is between your gums and teeth. Healthy gums have shallower spaces, but in people with gum disease, the space becomes deeper. Identifying gum disease earlier can make a big difference in preventing the development of more serious dental issues.
Diseases of the Tongue, Throat, and Neck
A thorough examination of the tongue, throat, face, neck, and head is another important part of a dental cleaning visit. This part of the examination looks for redness, inflammation, or tissue changes indicative of cancer. At Green Tree Dental, we take this part of the visit very seriously because identifying diseased tissue at an early stage can make a life or death difference for our patients.
The Dental Cleaning
Brushing and flossing the teeth at home is absolutely essential for good dental hygiene, but once tartar develops on the teeth, it’s impossible to remove it at home. So, during a routine dental cleaning, the dentist will remove the tartar and plaque by “scaling” the teeth using a special metal tool.
After the tartar and plaque have been removed, the dentist or an assistant may polish the teeth using a gritty paste and a polishing tool that helps remove surface stains and make your smile sparkle. After the surface of the teeth have been polished, the dental professional will floss the teeth to make sure all areas between the teeth are clean.
Between Dental Cleanings
We encourage our patients at Green Tree Dental2 to keep their teeth clean between dental visits. Brushing and flossing are absolutely vital for healthy teeth. We recommend that patients brush at least two times per day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Set aside time to floss at least once each day and use a mouthwash to control the growth of bacteria that cause plaque. Mouthwash will also freshen your breath!