The recommended number of times you should go to the dentist for a routine cleaning varies depending on your oral health. Generally, dentists suggest getting a professional cleaning twice a year. For some, this can seem like a hassle, but the benefits are worth it. Understanding the reasons why dental cleanings are important may make it easier to make your appointments.
When you brush your teeth at home, sometimes you can miss the plaque between your teeth and close to your gum line. Even if you brush and floss your teeth as recommended, you still may not be able to achieve a complete clean. This is where a professional dental cleaning can pick up the slack.
During your cleaning, your dentist or dental hygienist will use a scraping tool—called a scaler—to remove the plaque buildup from your teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can solidify into tartar. Tartar is calcified plaque you cannot remove at home, so a dental professional must clear it away before tooth decay occurs.
Each time you go to the dentist for a cleaning, you will get an x-ray of your teeth and mouth. The objective is to see if you have any developing issues that your dentist can’t see with just their eyes. In addition, it is a preventative measure to avoid future problems like cavities, gum disease, or abscessed teeth.
Furthermore, as you receive your cleaning, your dentist will be able to identify areas that may develop into cavities and perform preventative maintenance. They can also give you advice on how to avoid cavities. It is essential to address tooth decay as soon as possible so that the damage doesn’t progress into tooth loss. Once tooth decay advances too far, you may need a tooth extraction or restorative measures.
When cavities first begin to form, you will be unable to feel them because the decay hasn’t eaten through the enamel completely. You usually won’t start feeling sensitivity or discomfort from a cavity until it reaches the dentin. Your dentist will be able to see these areas before you begin to feel uncomfortable.
Connection to Overall Body Health
Studies have proven the connection between your oral health and your overall health. Whatever one ingests through the mouth travels to other areas of the body, including bacteria. This bacteria can eventually wreak havoc on your organ systems and immune system. The bacteria in your mouth can not only move through your digestive tract. However, it can also move through your bloodstream.
One reason why it is vital to remove plaque from your teeth is its connection to your heart health. The plaque that builds on your teeth is the same plaque that can build in your arteries. So, just as bacteria from your mouth can affect other parts of your body, the plaque on your teeth can affect your heart. According to some studies, people with poor oral health are more likely to suffer from heart disease.