You might not immediately see the need for regular dental cleanings if you’re diligent about cleaning plaque off of your teeth every day (preferably twice a day, at least). The truth, though, is that removing plaque on a daily basis is only the half the battle – to truly protect your smile, you need the regular care and attention of your professional dentist.
Combined with an excellent hygiene routine at home, dental cleanings are vital to keeping your mouth healthy and free of issues like tooth decay and gum disease. During your visit, your dentist will also carefully examine your teeth and mouth for signs of issues that may have already developed in order to prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.
Why do I need dental cleanings?
The most frequent threats to your dental health are plaque and tartar, which is the calcified form of plaque. Mainly, the oral bacteria in plaque and tartar can lead to cavities and gum disease, and cleaning the films off of your teeth and gums is necessary to protect your oral health. Like brushing and flossing, dental cleanings focus on cleaning every visible surface of your teeth. However, professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar (calcified plaque), which doesn’t respond to your toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, or water.
Do I still need to brush as often if I attend regular dental cleanings?
Despite the thoroughness of a dental cleaning, plaque forms and accumulates on your teeth constantly every day. Since dental cleanings are typically scheduled six months apart, you must still keep your teeth and gums clean at home between visits. Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once can largely control plaque and tartar development and increase your chances of successfully preventing dental issues.
What is a deep cleaning?
In some cases, patients may need a deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, to remove oral bacteria that have worked their way underneath your gums. Also referred to as periodontal cleaning, scaling and root planing focuses on the surfaces of your teeth’s roots, which rest underneath your gums, and is recommended for patients who exhibit signs of gingivitis and gum disease, or who are at an increased risk of its development.