Why You Need Regular Cleanings
Your dentist and the American Dental Association recommend dental patients make appointments every six months. If you’re constantly receiving good reports about your oral health, however, you may wonder how necessary regular exams and cleanings really are. We have listed a few reasons regular appointments are crucial to maintaining good oral health, even if your oral hygiene gets a gold star.
One part of your appointment will likely be a thorough dental examination where your teeth are closely checked for signs of decay. Early signs of decay could easily go undetected, especially in molars, without dental instruments and x-rays. Your dentist or hygienist will also evaluate the health of your gums and look for indications of nutritional deficiencies, diabetes, or other medical conditions. Your dentist may take a quick look at your head and neck, bite pattern, and the movement of your jaw. This is just to ensure that there are no issues hiding behind what’s visible to the naked eye.
Your dentist or hygienist will also clean your teeth and stress the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene between visits. It’s possible that the better you care for your teeth at home, the easier you cleaning will be, but you shouldn’t depend on at home care alone. Dentists pay special attention to the build-up of plaque and tartar, which is difficult to remove with a normal toothbrush, especially after a long period of time. If this plaque isn’t removed, it can harden and begin to irritate your gums. Teeth may also become stained by food, beverages, or tobacco use, and rely on special procedures offered by your dental professional care team to remove them.
If you have had past dental work, it is especially crucial that you are seen regularly. In addition to your oral health, your dentist also checks for damaged fillings, loose orthodontic devices, other dental appliances, and prosthetics you may have. Damaged fillings and dental appliances can cause severe discomfort and pose serious health risks if not addressed.
Finally, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth. This often begins by removing plaque and tartar that has built up since your last visit. Then the teeth are polished and flossed, before reviewing recommended home care techniques. If there were any areas of concern, these will be reviewed by your dentist as well.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.