There are certain steps you need to take in order to maintain your oral health. Brushing and flossing your teeth every single day is a great place to start, but you can’t stop there. Professional dental cleanings at your dentist’s office at least every six months can mean the difference between good oral hygiene and great oral hygiene.
It is one thing to know that you need a dental cleaning – it is another to make and keep your appointment. Truth is, it doesn’t take very long and you walk out of the office with so many benefits.
Why You Need Professional Cleanings
Just as you go to your primary care doctor for routine follow-ups and to get routine blood work, you need to visit your dentist, too. Consider it the best way to ensure your oral health is at its optimal level.
Dental cleanings are part of caring for your health. Without them, you will have plaque buildup that will lead to decay and infection. In turn, not only will your oral health be impacted, but your overall health, too. When you see your dentist every six months, as recommended by the American Dental Association, you are able to keep your teeth clean and free of buildup. Plus, you will have an examination by the dentist which allows any problem areas to be caught before they turn into something more concerning down the road.
Cleanings are too important to put off or dismiss and should be considered an integral part of your health regimen.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
Dental cleanings are preventative measures to protect against cavities and more complex dental issues. At these appointments, the teeth are cleaned thoroughly and monitored for any changes.
Each dental office may have slight variations in its routine cleanings, but they generally consist of a combination of cleaning, dental x-rays, a comprehensive oral examination, and an oral cancer screening.
If it is time for x-rays, this may be done at the beginning of your appointment. This is used as a diagnostic tool to ensure there are no issues or areas that need to be addressed that may not be visible to the naked eye. Note that x-rays are not taken at every cleaning appointment unless there is a concern that needs to be addressed.
The cleaning itself is pretty routine in its attempt to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. Your teeth will also be polished and flossed during the visit, too. And, of course, a good rinse to top off your clean mouth. Depending on your dentist or need, a fluoride treatment may be administered and dental sealants may be applied.
Once your pearly whites are feeling fresh and clean, the dentist will do a comprehensive oral evaluation to examine your teeth and perform an oral cancer screening. If there are any areas of concern, your dentist may suggest a treatment. Otherwise, you can simply book your 6-month cleaning appointment and be on your way.
How Long Does a Dental Cleaning Take?
Dental cleanings are designed to be convenient so that you are in and out of the office quickly – and won’t hesitate to make the appointment twice each year. This crucial step in your oral hygiene routine typically lasts less than an hour – and you get to reap the benefits.
If you are in need of a dental cleaning, Lane Family Dentistry is available. We offer preventative care and a comprehensive list of dental services for your entire family.