Although you can and should maintain good dental health by brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis at home, you still should never skip your regular cleanings with your dentist. The American Dental Association (ADA) advises children and adults to have their teeth cleaned professionally at least twice a year, while those with significant dental problems or who wear orthodontics will need more frequent cleanings.
There are several reasons your teeth should be cleaned professionally at least every six months. First of all, regular checkups give your dentist a chance to detect early signs of tooth decay. A decaying tooth can usually be treated simply as long as the infection is caught early. If you wait too long, it’s possible that your dentist won’t be able to save your tooth and will have to place a crown on it.
Second of all, regular dental cleanings can detect early periodontal disease, a gum disease that can lead to eroding gums, jawbone deterioration, and missing teeth. If your gums are frequently red and irritated or if they bleed easily, periodontal disease could be the reason why.
Third, regular dental check-ups and cleanings can be good for your overall health. Not only can progressive gum disease lead to heart issues, but your dentist can perform screenings for oral cancer and detect problems while they are still small and easily treated.
Finally, regular dental cleanings and check-ups can help save you money by preventing costly treatments. Yes, simply going to the dentist can cost money, but a cleaning every six months is much cheaper than a root canal or a tooth extraction, things that can happen if you put off your regular appointments for too long.
When you go to your dentist for a cleaning, a dental hygienist will first examine your teeth and gums. They will likely take an x-ray to look for any complications that an initial examination might miss. Cavities are generally dealt with before the rest of the cleaning, although more serious issues might require an additional appointment.
After the initial examination, the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth using special tools that do a much more thorough job of cleaning your teeth than a toothbrush or dental floss. Once the tartar is removed, the enamel on your teeth is polished to remove stains. The dentist then performs a final check on your teeth, gives you some overall advice for how to adjust your dental care at home, and sends you on your way.
If it’s been over six months since your last dental cleaning and you live near Plainville, CT, contact IKON Dental Group to schedule an appointment with Dr. Khan today. Our staff will be happy to provide a full check-up and a dental cleaning for you and answer any questions about your dental health that you might have.