How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?
Dental cleanings are a vital step in maintaining your oral health. Most dentists recommend that patients receive a cleaning and comprehensive exam every six months, but patients with certain oral health conditions like gum disease should visit more frequently.
Benefits of Dental Cleanings
- Remove plaque and tartar build-up
- Reduce the chance of developing gum disease
- Prevent and detect tooth decay
- Check for signs of oral cancer
- Brighten your smile by removing surface stains
- Provide a clean, healthy feeling
- Receive important home care instruction
How Dental Cleanings Work
A dental cleaning is a relatively quick, simple procedure with many impressive benefits. The first step in any routine dental cleaning is a thorough oral examination. The hygienist checks for signs of oral health issues. They use a small mirror to look at your teeth and gums, searching for signs of gum disease or decay.
Next, the hygienist removes plaque and tartar. They use a scaler tool to remove these dangerous substances that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
One of the reasons why dental cleanings are so important is that only a professional can remove tartar, also known as calculus. Tartar or calculus causes gum disease when it builds up at or below the gum line. Gum disease may lead to tooth loss in its advanced stages.
After scaling, the hygienist uses a spinning brush to polish the teeth. The hygienist uses a slightly gritty toothpaste to polish away debris. This toothpaste also removes surface stains.
Next, the hygienist will floss your teeth, showing you the best technique for removing all plaque. They may be able to spot areas where gum disease or gingivitis have a foothold. After flossing, the hygienist will have you rinse with water.
Fluoride treatments finish the cleaning. The hygienist may apply a foam, gel, or varnish. Fluoride is not just for kids: adults can also enjoy its benefits of stronger enamel and less tooth decay.
At the end of your visit, your dentist will check your teeth and answer any concerns. They will also check your mouth and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. They will go over the hygienist's findings and recommend future treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Cleanings
Does a dental cleaning hurt?
Dental cleanings are comfortable for the majority of patients. If you are developing gingivitis or gum disease, your gums may be tender and cause some discomfort. Stepping up your home care routine and receiving regular dental care will make your visits more comfortable over time.
When should my child receive their first dental cleaning?
Today, dentists recommend that parents bring their children to the dentist for the first time by age one. Dentists can track oral development, provide vital home care instruction, and help the child become accustomed to receiving dental care.
Call Lane Family Dentistry
Visiting the dentist for a cleaning should be a regular part of your healthcare routine. Keeping up with regular cleanings every six months can help you improve your oral health for years to come. It's never too late to start, even if it has been some time since your last cleaning. Please call our Vilonia, AR, office at 501-796-3903 to schedule an appointment.