It’s no secret that dental hygiene is incredibly important. Not only does maintaining a strict teeth cleaning schedule help keep your smile looking its best, but it also helps protect your oral health. Keeping your teeth healthy requires more than just brushing twice a day and flossing regularly – it’s also necessary to visit the dentist for a professional cleaning at least twice a year.
Many people may forgo their bi-annual dental cleaning because they feel their at-home hygiene habits are sufficient or because their teeth don’t seem to need a deep clean. However, not sticking to a bi-annual dental cleaning schedule may lead to some pretty serious health risks. To keep your oral health in tip-top shape, visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning.
The Risks of Skipping a Dental Cleaning
Even if you brush and floss regularly, there are some areas of your mouth that you cannot reach with a toothbrush. Furthermore, while brushing and flossing may remove plaque from your teeth, they don’t completely eliminate tartar, a hardened form of plaque that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.
Finally, only a dental professional can assess your risk for oral health problems. Therefore, skipping your dental cleaning appointments means you’re missing out on a comprehensive oral health assessment. Other risks associated with skipping a dental cleaning include:
When plaque and tartar are not removed from your teeth, they begin to eat away at your tooth enamel. This may lead to tooth decay, which weakens your teeth and may eventually lead to tooth loss. Tooth decay causes cavities to form and, if left untreated, may require more extensive dental work, such as a root canal or extraction.
Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums that may eventually lead to bone and tooth loss. The early stages of periodontal disease are known as gingivitis. It is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. While gingivitis is treatable, it can progress to periodontitis if left unchecked. Periodontitis occurs when bacteria start to destroy the bone and connective tissue that support your teeth. The best way to prevent gingivitis from progressing to periodontitis is to visit your dentist regularly for professional teeth cleanings.
Halitosis (Bad Breath)
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, may be caused by a number of factors, including poor oral hygiene, certain foods, and dry mouth. However, plaque buildup is one of the most common causes of bad breath. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums. If not removed, plaque will begin to emit a foul odor. This makes regular dental appointments essential for fresh breath.
Each year there are roughly 53,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed in the United States. Oral cancer may occur anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, and throat. Early detection is key to successful treatment, which is why dental cleanings are vital. During a routine dental cleaning, your dentist will check for any signs or symptoms of oral cancer. Unfortunately, oral cancer may not cause any pain or symptoms in its early stages, so it’s imperative to see a dentist regularly, even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong.
Despite your best efforts, your teeth may become stained over time. Coffee, tea, red wine, and cigarettes are all common culprits of tooth discoloration. While regular brushing may help remove surface stains, deep stains require professional intervention. A dental cleaning typically includes a polishing treatment that may remove deep-set stains and leave your teeth looking shiny and new.
What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning Appointment
During your appointment, your dental hygienist will first take any X-rays that your dentist may have ordered. Once your X-rays have been taken, your hygienist will begin the process of removing any plaque and tartar from your teeth, both above and below the gum line. After your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, your hygienist will polish your teeth and floss between them.
Finally, you will be given a thorough evaluation of your teeth and gums by your dentist. At this time, you may be asked about your overall oral health habits. Your dentist will also review your X-rays and recommend any further treatment that may be necessary. Lastly, before leaving the office, don’t forget to schedule your next teeth cleaning appointment. This will help ensure you maintain optimal oral health.
Schedule a Teeth Cleaning with AbraDental
At AbraDental, we strive to provide our patients with the best possible dental care. We understand the importance of having a bi-annual dental cleaning and are here to help you maintain good oral health. We offer a variety of dental services for the whole family. From orthodontics to teeth whitening, we can help you achieve a lifetime of healthy smiles. Contact us today to schedule your next teeth cleaning appointment.