Even if you regularly brush and floss your teeth, you still need to see a dentist or a dental hygienist at least once and preferably twice a year for a dental teeth cleaning. When you are seen for a cleaning, the hygienist or dentist will remove the plaque and tartar that has built-up around your teeth and gums that can not be removed at home, check your mouth for early signs of gum disease, and will make x-rays of your teeth to check for unseen tooth decay or bone loss. Although not considered a cosmetic dentistry procedure, regular teeth cleaning will help lend to a bright smile and overall improved oral hygiene.
Why Get Your Teeth Cleaned?
Lets face it, most of us are not the best at regularly brushing our teeth, let alone flossing. Even if you are the exception, the American Dental Association recommends that you have your teeth cleaned at intervals of no more than 6 months by a dentist or dental hygienist. They will be able to remove the tartar and plaque that has built up before it becomes a trigger for advanced tooth decay, gum disease, or bone loss and will prevent more complex dental health issues for you later. Once you have significant plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth and gums, bacteria can settle in and grow and cause infection in your gums. The teeth around the infection become more vulnerable to infection or decay when the infected gums recede, and the condition can evolve to what is referred to as periodontal disease and ultimately tooth loss.
Once periodontal disease progresses and you experience tooth loss, you will be further exposed to additional pain, infection, and decay and the potential exists for neck, jaw, or head pain due to the added stress placed on the remainder of your teeth. There have also been studies conducted which have linked bum disease to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. When you see your dentist for a regular teeth cleaning, they will also make recommendations on how you can improve your dental hygiene routine in order to better improve your overall dental health.
How Does the Dentist Clean My Teeth?
Most dentists and oral hygienists will use a number of dental tools to clean your teeth. One of the most common tools is a dental scaler which is used to remove plaque and tartar build-up beneath your gum-line. Ultrasonic scalers have also become more popular with some wellness dentists in order to break-up and remove the plaque build-up on your teeth and gums. After the plaque and tartar have been removed, your dentist or hygienist will then polish your teeth to remove any surface debris that remains and to leave your teeth looking as good as possible after the cleaning is done. Your dentist will also take x-rays of your teeth at yearly intervals in order to identify any cavities that you may have or other teeth decay issues that have not been discovered during the oral inspection. For a patient who is in good to excellent dental health, a cleaning with x-rays will normally take approximately 60 minutes to complete.
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