Everyone knows that brushing and flossing twice a day is an important part of keeping one’s teeth healthy and strong, but what about visiting the dentist twice a year for routine check-ups and cleanings? Is this really a necessary step to maintaining good oral health, especially if one’s smile appears to be in great shape? The answer is a definitive yes! While dental exams and professional teeth cleanings every six months may seem excessive, the truth is that they are a crucial part of preventing serious oral health concerns in the long run. Fortunately, the doctors at Washington Court House Dental and their experienced team are proud to make these routine appointments as comfortable and convenient as possible. If it’s been a while since your last dental cleaning, here’s everything you should know before booking your next appointment.
Dental Cleaning vs. Dental Exam: What’s the Difference?
Dental exams and routine teeth cleanings are usually scheduled during the same appointment. They are considered part of preventive dentistry, so you may not have realized that they are two separate procedures, but they are. A dental exam consists of:
- A dental assistant takeing X-rays of your mouth to show the dentists what is happening beneath the surface of your teeth and gums.
- Dentists examining your mouth for oral health problems, such as cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer.
- Dentists discussing any potential oral health concerns they may identify and, if necessary, create a personalized treatment plan to restore your mouth to health.
Dental cleanings usually take place once the exam is complete. During your teeth cleaning, a dental hygienist will:
- Observe the strength and health of your gums.
- Use specialized tools to scrape plaque and tartar build-up from the surface of your teeth.
- Floss between your teeth.
- Polish your teeth with a fluoride paste.
Dental cleanings usually take around 45 minutes but will depend on the health and condition of your teeth. They are virtually pain-free, but if you experience any pain or discomfort during your cleaning, be sure to let the dental hygienist know.
How Often Should I Get My Teeth Cleaned?
The American Association of Dentistry recommends that people visit the dentist for routine exams and cleanings twice a year. However, if you have a particular oral health concern that needs to be closely monitored or treated, such as gum disease, it may be necessary to have cleanings more frequently. Once your condition has been treated and is under control, your appointments may be extended again. The Doctors at Washington Court House Dental will gladly discuss your unique needs during your exam.
How Much Do Dental Cleanings Cost?
Dental cleanings are covered by most dental insurance plans. For more information about your dental insurance policy, please contact our office.
Why Are Dental Cleanings Important?
Dental cleanings are vital in preventing serious oral and overall health concerns. While your teeth and gums may look healthy to you, it’s common for plaque and tartar to build upon the surface of your enamel, possibly without you even realizing it. This tartar build-up is impossible to remove with everyday brushing and flossing at home, and if left to its own devices, it can quickly progress and lead to tooth decay, gum recession, and even tooth loss. For this reason, teeth cleanings play a crucial role in preventing minor oral health problems from turning into major ones.
If you’re looking for a dental office that offers state-of-the-art techniques with convenient services and compassionate care, Washington Court House Dental is here for you. The doctors and their trusted team strive to make each patient who walks through their door feel comfortable and well-cared for. Call today to schedule your routine dental exam and a professional cleaning to keep your smile healthy and bright for years to come!