Brushing and flossing at home are essential, but you should schedule regular dental cleanings to ensure your teeth are healthy and thoroughly clean. We recommend visiting a dentist office every six months for cleanings for optimal oral health, but if you have signs of gum disease or have a higher risk for cavities, a shorter interval of every three to four months may be necessary. Learn more about the benefits of dental cleanings with Washington Court House Dental located in Washington Court House, Ohio.
What is a Dental Cleaning?
During a routine dental cleaning, your hygienist uses special tools to remove sticky plaque and hard tartar deposits from the surfaces of your teeth as well as above and around your gum line by a process known as scaling. Afterward, the hygienist brushes them with a high-powered electric brush, and gritty toothpaste expertly flosses your teeth and rinses your mouth to remove any remaining plaque and tartar.
Dental cleanings are usually combined with a regular checkup to allow the dentist a chance to examine your teeth and gums, perform an oral cancer screening, and take X-rays if needed. Routine cleanings are also a good time for your hygienist to advise you about your oral hygiene and how to improve it, so you get rid of as much plaque and tartar during your home routine as possible.
Why are Regular Dental Cleanings Important?
There are several reasons why you should maintain professional dental cleaning:
1. Keep Teeth Free from Plaque and Tartar
Ideally, if you have a good daily oral hygiene routine, you will brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. This helps to remove most of the plaque buildup from your teeth and gums. However, even people with an excellent oral hygiene routine will often miss certain areas of their mouth.
When plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar or calculus, an extremely hard substance that you won’t be able to remove with a toothbrush or with dental floss. Instead, it must be gently scraped or scaled from your teeth during your professional dental cleaning.
2. Prevent Serious Dental Problems
Staying on top of routine dental cleanings is essential to your oral health. When plaque is allowed to stay on the teeth for a long time, it will eventually lead to tooth decay. That’s because the acids in plaque remove minerals in your tooth’s hard, outer enamel, causing tiny openings or holes in the enamel—the first stage of cavities.
When cavities and decay become severe, you may experience pain and tooth loss and require expensive restorative treatments like fillings, root canal therapy, and dental implants. A dental cleaning removes the cavity-causing bacteria in plaque, effectively preventing the onset, progress, or recurrence of tooth decay. A dental cleaning can also help combat other dental conditions like halitosis.
3. Reduce The Risk of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease commonly caused by plaque and tartar buildup. The bacteria in plaque and tartar cause irritation and inflammation along the gumline resulting in red, puffy gums that may bleed when you brush your teeth. If left untreated, gingivitis will advance to periodontitis and eventual tooth loss.
Gingivitis usually clears up after a thorough professional dental cleaning, as long as you continue good oral hygiene at home. Your dentist will help you plan an effective at-home program and schedule regular professional checkups and cleaning.
4. Help Your Teeth Last Longer
Regular dental cleanings can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Attending these routine appointments can also help identify dental problems at their earliest stages when treatment is often less complex and less costly.
5. Brighten Your Smile
A professional dental cleaning will remove the surface buildup of plaque and tartar that stain the teeth and make them look discolored, as well as some fresh stains that are not yet deep into your teeth.
These are known as extrinsic stains and are usually caused by coffee, tea, red wine, berries, and curries. Because they only affect the enamel surface of your teeth, they can easily be removed during a dental cleaning visit, leaving you with a brighter, whiter smile.
Taking Care of Your Teeth at Home
Apart from regular dental cleanings, you must also care for your teeth at home. That means brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily — in the morning and before going to bed — and flossing at least once a day.
Dental Cleanings at Washington Court House Dental
At Washington Court House Dental, we believe that prevention is key when it comes to oral health, that’s why we provide thorough dental cleanings. Proper at-home oral care coupled with a professional cleaning by our well-educated dental hygienists can help remove harmful bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup and prevent serious oral conditions like tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!