If you are one of the individuals who recognize the importance of maintaining excellent oral health and you take great care to ensure that you maintain optimal oral hygiene habits, you may wonder why your dentist still expects you to return every six months for another professional dental cleaning. After all, if you are rigorous about brushing and flossing your teeth every day and both your dental hygienist and dentist comment on how healthy your teeth are, you’re clearly doing a fine job on your own, right? What you may not know is that a major part of the reason behind why you are experiencing such optimal oral health is not only because of your stellar at-home oral hygiene habits, but also because you do continue to visit the dentist regularly.
How Dental Cleanings Help Keep Your Mouth Healthy
The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist every six months because these visits are essential to good oral health. With professional tools and techniques only they possess, your dentist can clean your teeth more thoroughly than you can ever hope to at home. He can also detect issues that are just beginning to surface so that they can be rapidly resolved before they cause major problems. More specifically, regular dental visits can help you to:
- Prevent the formation of cavities. Plaque–that whitish film that builds up on the surface of your teeth–is the primary cause of tooth decay problems. Plaque is made up of bacteria that, when allowed to remain on the surface of the teeth, eat away at tooth enamel and cause uncomfortable cavities. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day can definitely help to remove some of the plaque buildup on your teeth, but not all. Your dentist’s special equipment and training allows them to clean your teeth more thoroughly, removing all the plaque buildup that your day brushing and flossing misses.
- Stop tooth loss from occurring. Plaque buildup not only leads to cavities, it can also lead to gum disease. Where gum disease is occurring, the gum tissue tends to fall away from the tooth and create a sort of pocket. This can allow the bacteria-ridden plaque to move even further down the surface of the tooth, destroying the root and even the supporting bone in the jaw. When this happens the weakened tooth becomes loose and may even fall out. However, a professional dental cleaning can help to ensure that all the plaque on the tooth, including down near the gum line, is removed and gum disease is prevented.
- Help to brighten your smile. While certain habits, such as drinking tea, coffee and wine or using tobacco products, can stain your teeth quite markedly, your teeth can also become subtly stained in other ways. A dental cleaning works to remove these built-up stains on your teeth, revealing cleaner, whiter teeth and a brighter smile.
- Freshen your breath. Many cases of bad breath are caused by bacteria buildup in the mouth, as well as any decay that has occurred as a result of this bacteria buildup. Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth daily and receiving dental cleanings every six months can help to prevent bacteria buildup and its resultant problems, which can help to keep breath fresher.
- Improve and protect your overall health. There have been many studies into the connection between oral health and overall health. Periodontal disease, for example, can cause bacteria to move through the bloodstream to other bodily organs and systems. By receiving dental cleanings every six months, one may lower their risk for certain illnesses and diseases, like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Furthermore, some major medical conditions first present with symptoms that your dentist will be able to detect in your mouth.
- Save money. Needless to say, preventative dental care is far less costly than restorative dental care. Since regular dental cleanings allow for the detection of problems when they are only just beginning, this means that one can avoid the more costly and extensive procedures that are required to resolve major dental issues.
For more information about the importance of regular dental cleanings and to schedule your next appointment, contact Dr. Nurminsky today.