Skipping Out on Dental Cleanings Could Cost You
- Posted on: May 15 2018
Technically, you clean your teeth every day. Every time brush-bristles comes into contact with enamel, the goal is to remove debris and the sticky biofilm that can cause cavities and gum disease. Because most people are pretty good about brushing, the need for professional dental cleanings is sometimes questioned. If you have caught yourself wondering whether or not you really need that cleaning, or believing that you don’t, here’s what we want you to know.
Dental Cleanings are Beneficial
Studies suggest that people who maintain routine dental cleanings to coincide with their twice-a-year dental exams, they experience:
- Fewer instances of inflammation and decay.
- Better general health.
- Fresher breath.
- Decreased need for restorative care like dental fillings.
- A more attractive smile.
- Diminished risk of tooth loss.
What are the Benefits of Teeth-Cleaning?
How is it that professional cleanings can do so much when they are performed so infrequently? It comes down to technique. When patients visit our Portland, OR office for preventive services including teeth cleaning, they can expect us to carefully observe all areas of the mouth for plaque accumulation or evidence of inflammation. This initial evaluation is what guides our level of cleaning. When oral health is generally good, and there are no deep periodontal pockets, teeth-cleaning includes:
- Plaque removal. One of the objectives of the six-month recall schedule is to minimize the chances of tartar buildup. Plaque and tartar are comprised of tiny food particles, saliva, and bacteria. Initially, buildup is sticky and soft. In this state, plaque is relatively easy to remove using a scaling instrument. When left alone too long, plaque calcifies. The hardened tartar is a bigger challenge but can still be removed with the scaling instrument and a little extra time.
- Think of the professional cleaning as the next level of teeth-brushing. The instruments in the dental office are mechanical, which allows us to dislodge more debris than is possible with manual tooth-brushing. It is the rotating action of our brushing instrument combined with the mild abrasiveness of professional-grade toothpaste that elevates the brightness of your smile after your cleaning.
- Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of this part of each professional cleaning is that it might show you where more attention is needed. Flossing is difficult for many people because it can be challenging to get floss through teeth at the back of the mouth. Your hygienist or dentist can discuss ways that flossing can be made easier and more effective.
Posted in: Dental Cleanings