5 Ways Regular Professional Dental Cleanings Are Different From Good Home Oral Care
Why teeth need to be professionally cleaned.
You use the best oral care products, own the latest powered toothbrush, and your dental care routine is outstanding. In fact, maybe you can’t even remember the last time you had a cavity, let alone gingivitis, because every time you visit the dentist they give you the all-clear. So, does that mean finding time in your busy schedule for a professional cleaning is worthwhile?
The answer is a resounding yes! Whether you’ve been gifted with a healthy smile since childhood, or you’ve worked hard to achieve and maintain optimal oral health, biannual oral hygiene visits are a necessity, not a luxury.
Here are five reasons why your teeth need to be professionally cleaned.
1. Your dentist has the expertise and tools to remove hidden plaque that’s impossible to eliminate at home.
Have you ever taken a peek at your hygienist’s tray of tools before a cleaning? You’ll notice several different shiny, sterile hand tools, and you’re probably familiar with more advanced tools used for polishing your teeth. These tools can reach and remove plaque and tartar that is simply impossible to remove with a toothbrush and floss.
Proper brushing and flossing habits will remove the majority of plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and along your gum line, but they can’t remove everything. Plaque build-up is inevitable, and it often accumulates just under your gums where the tissue meets your teeth. Dental plaque is also quite sticky, so once build-up begins, it can increase, and develop into tartar, which is hardened plaque.
Going over six months without a professional cleaning can be ample time for the plaque and tartar to build up enough to cause gum irritation and inflammation, known as gingivitis.
2. During a cleaning, your hygienist will closely examine your teeth and see if you’re missing any areas when brushing or flossing at home.
While removing plaque build-up, your hygienist is closely examining your teeth, much more thoroughly than you could see yourself in a mirror. They’ll take note of areas where there seems to be more plaque build-up and explain what they’re seeing, so you can use the information to improve your brushing and flossing habits at home.
When your hygienist asks you about your brushing and flossing habits, it’s important to be honest. If you often forget to brush before bed, or go days without flossing, these habits can explain why you might have more plaque build-up than normal. However, if you have great brushing and flossing habits but your hygienist sees excessive plaque build-up, this is a sign that something may be off with your oral health.
3. Subtle enamel or gum erosion are signs of brushing too hard, and your hygienist can refresh you on proper brushing techniques.
Brushing too hard is common among adults. It can lead to enamel erosion and receding gums and increase the risks of gingivitis and gum disease. Brushing too soon after meals can also cause enamel erosion.
If your gums often feel tender after brushing or your toothbrush bristles quickly become splayed outward, chances are you’re brushing too hard, but the signs aren’t always this obvious.
Your hygienist will notice subtle warning signs of improper brushing or flossing techniques during cleaning. They’ll relay this information to you and demonstrate how you should brush, including how gently you can brush while still effectively removing plaque.
4. The check-ups accompanying dental hygiene visits help your dentist detect early signs of trouble before damage or pain occurs.
Before every cleaning, your dentist will first examine your mouth for any signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and even more serious problems like oral cancer. Most people only discover problems with their teeth when they experience sensitivity or pain. Unfortunately, if your teeth feel painful, it means the damage has already been done.
When you see your dentist for a check-up and cleaning every six months, you’re reducing your chances of developing oral health issues and ensuring if a problem develops, they will catch it at an early stage that is much more easily treated.
5. Deep cleanings that clear plaque from the gum pockets are the only way to prevent gum disease and protect your overall health.
Your mouth and body share a strong connection; you might even say it’s impossible to have a healthy body without a healthy mouth, and vice versa. Gum disease is one oral health problem linked to several systematic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and several forms of cancer. The good news is your hygienist’s deep cleanings remove the plaque and tartar build-up that leads to gum disease.
Consider your biannual visits to the dentist as a way of protecting both your oral and overall health.
Get your next professional dental cleaning scheduled today.
Our Maryville, MO dentists provide dental care for individuals and families seeking comprehensive modern dentistry with a gentle touch. We have a strong focus on preventive care and stopping oral health issues before they have a chance to develop. Regular check-ups and cleanings are one of many ways we help patients maintain beautiful and healthy smiles.
If you’re due for a professional dental cleaning, take a moment today to schedule it via phone or online request.