How long has it been since you received a teeth cleaning from your dentist? Professional dental cleanings can certainly brighten and refresh your smile, but they offer valued benefits that go beyond aesthetics and feeling. In fact, routine dental cleanings can be one of the most influential preventative treatments you receive.
The Problem with Plaque
Plaque biofilm – aka “dental plaque” – is the soft, sticky substance that accumulates on your teeth between meals. It’s what gives your mouth that “fuzzy” feeling you notice when you wake up in the mornings.
Since plaque contains bacteria and acid byproducts, it’s damaging to your tooth enamel and gums. The longer it rests on your teeth, the more those bacteria can work against your tooth structures. And after about 24 hours, thin layers of the plaque will calcify into tartar.
Dental plaque gradually etches away at your enamel. So over time, strong teeth can turn into sensitive ones. They may also develop areas of demineralization (white, splotchy surfaces) that eventually turn into cavities.
Plaque tends to be heaviest along the gumlines and just below the edges of your gums. Fortunately, cleaning it off with brushing and flossing can prevent most major dental issues. But even the best of us will accidentally leave plaque behind at times or miss a spot when we brush.
That’s where preventative dental cleanings come into play. Your dentist has the unique skill, knowledge and tools to remove plaque after it has accumulated and hardened.
What You Can Expect from a Professional Cleaning
During your cleaning, the hygienist blasts away plaque, scales away tartar and polishes stain from your teeth. Yes, this can certainly result in a cleaner and fresher mouth, but it also means you’ll be at a much lower risk for disruptive (and costly) dental issues such as:
- Tooth decay
- Failed dental work
- Gum disease
- Discolored teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
How often should you schedule your dental cleaning? Most dental experts agree that twice a year (or every six months) is ideal. However, if you have braces or are prone to gum disease, we may want to see you more frequently. Call Dr. Bob Perkins today to learn more about how preventative dentistry can benefit your smile, your body and your quality of life!
Posted on Behalf of Bob Perkins DDS