You diligently brush and floss your teeth every day, so why is seeing your dentist for professional teeth cleanings so important? Our Edmonton dentists explain why these twice-yearly appointments are essential to your oral health.
Why book professional teeth cleaning appointments?
At Azarko Dental Group, we understand that life gets busy. Between work, family and personal commitments, it may feel like another challenge to schedule and keep your regular teeth cleaning appointments with your dentist. And, if you're one of those people who gets anxious at seeing it's time for your next visit, it can be too tempting to put off.
You might even wonder whether you really need to have your teeth cleaned this often. However, those twice-yearly visits go a long way to preventing dental disease and preserving your overall health. In this post, we'll share some reasons to keep your dental cleaning appointments.
Preventing Oral Health Issues
One of the best tools you and your dentist have to preserve your oral health and guard against dental disease is preventive dental care. Coming in for professional teeth cleaning appointments at least twice a year (every six months) helps keep tooth decay, gum disease and other oral health problems in check, or stop them from taking hold entirely.
Plus, maintaining healthy teeth and gums means that you'll reduce your risk of tooth loss later in life.
Removing Plaque & Tartar Buildup
While you may brush as much and as thoroughly as possible at home with a manual or electric toothbrush in addition to flossing daily, there are likely some hard-to-reach places in your mouth where plaque can easily settle and multiply, leaving you susceptible to gingivitis and other issues.
If plaque sits on your teeth for too long without being removed, it can start to harden into sticky tartar in just 24 hours. At that point, only a trained hygienist at your Edmonton dentist's office can remove tartar once it has developed using specialized tools you don't have access to at home.
Early Oral Cancer Detection
Dentists are often the frontline of defence when it comes to identifying early signs of oral cancer in patients. A regular dental exam gives your dentist an opportunity to detect the disease early and refer you to other professionals for more follow-up if required. If not detected and treated soon enough, oral cancer can become serious and even life-threatening.
Correcting Other Oral Health Problems
While prevention is always our first goal, early detection and treatment of oral health problems are our next highest priority. If they are caught in their early stages, tooth decay and gum disease can be reversed. Treatment may be easier and more affordable, so in the long-term oral health issues can be treated before they develop into larger problems and consequences for your health - and your budget.
Keeping Your Smile Whiter
If too much plaque and tartar accumulate on your teeth without being removed, your teeth can quickly become discoloured. Just by typing 'teeth cleaning near Edmonton' and contacting our office to schedule your appointment, you'll give our hygienists an opportunity to eliminate that bacteria and polish your teeth to keep them white. If you are a candidate for teeth whitening, we can also advise you on your options.
What happens during a teeth cleaning?
During your professional teeth cleaning appointment, your dentist will examine your mouth before cleaning your teeth. Here is a step-by-step rundown of what will happen during your regularly scheduled visit.
1. Physical Exam
The dentist will start by visually examining the condition of your teeth, gums, tongue and jaw to look for cavities, as well as swelling, inflammation or recession in the gums or other parts of the oral cavity. If needed, X-rays will be taken and a treatment plan will be created.
2. Dental Cleaning & Plaque Removal
A dental hygienist or dentist will use specialized tools to eliminate any plaque and tartar that have accumulated. While daily brushing and flossing help, dentists are often able to reach trouble spots and let you know about any areas that will need more diligent cleaning, such as between certain teeth, around the back molars or the backs of the teeth.
3. Teeth are Polished
Finally, your teeth will be polished to leave them looking brighter and feeling smoother.
4. Recommendations & Preventive Measures
Any change in oral health will be recorded and referrals to other dental professionals provided if required. Your dentist will be able to treat certain issues, such as tooth decay with a filling. Left untreated for too long, a decayed or diseased tooth might start to cause pain and a root canal or extraction may be necessary.
Your dentist can also make other recommendations, from brushing techniques to improve your oral hygiene routine, changes in lifestyle or diet (for example, quitting smoking) and other services that can help restore oral health or change the look of your smile.
What happens if I skip too many dental cleanings?
Seeing your dentist for a regular checkup every six months is an important part of maintaining excellent oral health. Skip too many appointments and both oral health and overall health can start to decline, since gum (periodontal) disease can impact both your oral cavity and lead to heart disease and other illnesses.
Tooth decay and cavities that are not treated can easily lead to painful conditions and lead to dental emergencies, and even long-term physical illnesses.
Regular dental checkups will help keep your smile healthy and lower your risk of dental emergencies. They also help to preserve your oral and overall health long-term.