The Importance of Regular Dental Cleaning
Updated: Apr 29
If you are like most people, you know how important it is to regularly brush and floss your teeth. You have probably made it a habit to completely clean your mouth after a meal by brushing the teeth well and rinsing the gums thoroughly.
Did you know that regular brushing and flossing are not enough to keep your teeth and mouth healthy?
Why are Regular Brushing and Flossing Not Enough to Keep Teeth Healthy?
If you are like most people, the task of brushing your teeth is an automatic subconscious process. There is a good chance that you put more effort into brushing the front teeth, but less so in cleaning back teeth you cannot see. After all, the teeth you cannot see are naturally difficult to clean even if you carefully clean each tooth.
Consequently, there are parts of the teeth where the bristles of the toothbrush will not clean properly. Microscopic layers of food particles and the bacteria that live on them may be left in the tight spaces between the teeth and small spaces between the teeth and the gums.
There is another problem. Even with regular brushing and flossing, there will always be some amount of food deposits and other debris stuck to the teeth that the brush cannot remove. Over time, these particles form tartar and plaque deposits that may not even be visible in the mirror. This is why a professional dental cleaning is so necessary.
Tartar and Plaque Deposits: What Are They and How do They Form?
You already know that the human mouth is home to many kinds of microorganisms, most of them bacteria. These organisms live off macroscopic pieces of food, mainly starch and sugars, left in the mouth.
Bacteria form a sticky film that covers the surface of teeth called plaque. After eating, the bacteria produce acidic waste that can harm the enamel (outer layer of the tooth) in as little as 20 minutes after eating. The acid wears down the enamel, causing decay of the tooth and enabling other dental complications.
When plaque is left on the teeth for too long, it hardens and becomes tartar. Tartar can get so hard that it becomes the unsightly outermost layer of the teeth, completely covering or replacing enamel. After it forms, tartar is hard to remove even with regular brushing and teeth whiteners. The plaque will continue to build up over the tartar, increasingly coating the teeth and even irritating the gums. If the situation is not remedied, it can eventually lead to loss of teeth gum disease.
How Does Regular Teeth Cleaning Help?
When you go to a clinic to get your teeth cleaned, the dental hygienist or dentist will use a special procedure and tools to remove the tartar and plaque deposits. Teeth cleaning is a preventive measure that significantly improves the health and appearance of your teeth. Here are the three core benefits of regular dental cleanings in Greer, SC that you should know.
1. Removal of Plaque and Tartar
The main reason why health professionals recommend that you get your teeth cleaned every six months is to prevent a buildup of plaque and tartar. Brushing alone cannot remove all the microorganism build up on the teeth and may lead to overall health complications. According to the American Dental Association, getting your teeth cleaned will not only give you healthy teeth but may also go a long way to prevent heart diseases, stroke, and arterial blockages,
There are different techniques dentists use to remove plaque and tartar on teeth. One of the most efficient methods we use at Carraway Dentistry is to scrape the plaque and tartar off using a small tool that reaches every part of every tooth. If you have sensitive teeth, we can also use ultrasonic cleaning technology to break up the buildup with water and sound vibrations.
2. Physical Examination of the Mouth
The first step of dental cleaning is often a thorough and complete examination of the mouth. A dentist will examine your teeth's overall health and look out for any brown or black spots that precede a cavity and any holes or fractures in the teeth. If there are any forming cavities, there is no better time to catch them than during regular teeth cleaning sessions. If cavities are not caught and treated early enough, you may end up needing the costly and painful root canal procedures just to keep your teeth.
Have you noticed any potential problems in your oral and overall health to which you need answers? The best time to ask them is during an oral exam. For instance, if your gums get irritated regularly despite regular teeth cleaning, you may want to ask the dentist what irritates them and how you can minimize or prevent it altogether. This is the best way to maintain healthy teeth.
Other important questions you can ask your dentist during a teeth cleaning session are:
How can I prevent gum diseases?
Why are my teeth sensitive to cold foods or drinks?
Is my current oral hygiene routine effective? How can I improve it?
How effective is a mouthwash? Can I use it to kill bacteria and minimize plaque and tartar?
Am I grinding my teeth without realizing it? How best can I prevent this?
3. Prevent Severe Health Conditions
Depending on your oral health, the dentist should guide you on the best practices to keep your teeth and gums healthy during a teeth cleaning session. They may also recommend other tests such as X-rays when there are potential problems that traditional examination does not reveal. A dentist in Greer will also carry out "periodontal screening," a process of examining and testing the gums to identify any potential diseases or complications.
Teeth cleaning is a sure way to avoid future pain and expensive health problems that can be detected and remedied early. Regular teeth cleaning will help you detect and prevent health problems, including cardiovascular issues, oral cancers, periodontitis, gingivitis, and bad breath, among others.
While there is no fixed number of teeth cleanings a person should get every year, two is recommended for people aged 50 and below with good oral hygiene to maintain healthy teeth. People with existing dental or oral problems or those aged over 50 may need to get their teeth cleaned more frequently.
When you visit your dentist, you should make it a point to get professional advice on the number of times you need a dental cleaning and complete oral checkup. If your visit to the dentist is long overdue, schedule a cleaning online at Carraway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry with a friendly dentist in Greer. Be proactive in improving your dental health.