Here’s why you should never skip dental cleaning (teeth cleaning).
As a rule of thumb, it’s advisable for you to go for at least two dental cleaning (teeth cleaning) appointments per year — once every six months. This is a baseline figure based on the average speed at which people develop plaque, tartar, and bacteria. However, your dentist may ask you to schedule your dental cleaning more or less frequently, depending on your unique dental anatomy, dental history, and various other factors.
People with exceptional dental anatomy and oral health might have to schedule their dental cleaning once every 1 to 2 years. Meanwhile, people with a history of gum disease, crooked teeth, pregnancy, or poor oral health may need to schedule dental cleanings even more frequently than twice a year. Your dentist will recommend the ideal frequency for your teeth cleaning based on your unique situation, and you must follow their advice.
This article provides more information on dental cleanings — here’s why you should never skip dental cleaning (teeth cleaning).
Why do I need dental cleanings?
Brushing and flossing regularly is essential for optimal oral health. However, no matter how well you maintain oral hygiene, rinsing, brushing, and flossing once or twice a day, you still need regular dental cleanings. Despite the name, professional teeth cleaning isn’t about brushing and flossing your teeth — it’s so much more than that.
No matter how well you brush and floss your teeth, you can’t remove all the trace amounts of food particles stuck between your teeth. If you have perfectly aligned teeth, your occlusal surfaces might do a good job of removing most of the food particles stuck between your teeth, but not all of them. People with crooked or misaligned teeth are even more likely to have trace food particles stuck in the deeper recesses of their mouths.
Over time, the accumulated food particles turn into a sticky white particle called plaque, which, in turn, hardens into a yellowish substance called tartar. You can’t remove tartar with normal brushing and flossing, so you need to get it removed professionally. The accumulation of plaque and tartar leads to a higher bacterial presence in your mouth than normal. The bacteria feast on the plaque and tartar and release toxins that harm your dental surfaces.
The continued accumulation of bacteria on your dental surface eventually leads to gum inflammation and dental cavities. If allowed to continue spreading, you might suffer from gingivitis or periodontitis and dental cavities. Periodontitis leads to gum recession and loosens your tooth, leading to potential loss of a tooth. Meanwhile, dental cavities reach your root canals and necessitate root canal treatments. However, regular dental visits can prevent all of these situations.
During regular dental cleanings, the dentist or dental hygienist carefully removes all the accumulated plaque and tartar from your teeth and removes the accumulated bacteria. If you’re experiencing any inflammations or infections, they treat the issues before they can worsen. The rate at which plaque and tartar spread differ for different people based on various factors, so you should defer to your dentist’s recommendation for the frequency of your dental cleanings.
What happens during my teeth cleaning appointment?
Your teeth cleaning appointment will start with the dentist carefully examining your dental surfaces to look for signs of gum disease or cavities. If you don’t have any dental problems, the dental hygienist proceeds with the dental cleaning process. You have to rinse your mouth with a special antibacterial solution to remove some of the surface bacteria on your teeth.
After the rinse, the dental hygienist uses a special tool called a scalar to scrape all the accumulated plaque and tartar from your teeth and gum line. The dentist removes all the plaque and tartar and examines your roots. If you have receding gums or early gingivitis, the dentist removes all the plaque and tartar from the gum pockets and smoothens the tooth’s root to facilitate gum healing.
After the scaler, the dentist brushes your teeth using an electric toothbrush and a gritty toothpaste that scrubs your dental surfaces. The dental hygienist also carefully flosses your teeth and provides instructions on how you should floss for maximum results. Next, the dental hygienist asks you to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial fluoride solution to remove some more bacteria.
The final stage of tooth cleaning is a fluoride treatment. The dental hygienist applies a special fluoride solution on your teeth and asks you to wear a dental appliance. The fluoride treatment strengthens your teeth, protecting them from bacterial infections for several months. After the dental cleaning, the dentist discusses your oral hygiene habits and recommends a date for the next dental cleaning.
Can I just get my teeth cleaned without an exam or x-rays?
All teeth cleanings must be preceded by a thorough dental exam and x-rays. These dental exams and x-rays are necessary to look for the underlying signs and symptoms of gum disease and cavities. You should never skin the dental exams because they are crucial to maintaining optimal oral health.
Do dentists or dental clinics offer sedation for a dental cleaning?
Sedation isn’t necessary for regular dental cleaning because it doesn’t cause any pain and only mild discomfort. However, if you’re feeling extremely anxious, you can ask your dentist about sedation dentistry.
What’s the difference between a dental cleaning, dental deep cleaning, and periodontal deep cleaning?
Dental deep cleaning and periodontal deep cleaning are synonymous terms referring to procedures that remove the bacterial colonies from the pockets of space between your gums and teeth. However, dental cleaning differs from these procedures — it’s a preventative treatment used to prevent gum disease rather than treat it.
Schedule your professional tooth cleaning today.
Sapphire Smiles is widely considered one of the best dental clinics for professional teeth cleaning, located at 2522 Yale St. #210, Houston. For more information, please schedule your professional tooth cleaning today or call (832) 409-0400.