Why a Dentist Recommends Regular Dental Cleanings
Even though regular dental cleanings are important for oral health, many people fail to prioritize them. A recent National Health Interview Survey revealed that more than 30% of American adults have not had a dental checkup in over one year, even though the American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist at least once every six months. Those with preexisting conditions or higher risks for tooth decay and gum disease may need to see a dentist even more often. Routine dental appointments may seem unnecessary if you are not experiencing any dental issues, but these checkups can have a significant positive impact on your overall health.
The benefits of regular dental cleanings
Seeing a dentist is about much more than having a clean, fresh smile, although it is a nice perk. There are many reasons a professional cleaning can keep you healthy while also improving your quality of life.
Removal of tartar buildup
No matter how healthy your diet is, your teeth are still exposed to sugars and acids from the foods you eat. Even nutritious produce and lean protein leave particles behind on your teeth that can lead to plaque buildup. Over time, if plaque is not removed quickly enough, it can harden and form tartar. Once tartar buildup develops, regular brushing and flossing cannot eradicate it. Fortunately, a dental professional can remove it during regular dental cleanings by using tools specifically designed for this job.
Prevention of decay and disease
Regular dental cleanings can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Most of this is done through the removal of plaque and tartar buildup, especially between teeth and along the gum line. This helps protect tooth enamel while keeping bacteria under control.
At these same appointments, dentists may offer other treatments that reduce the risks for these issues, such as topical fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and scaling or root planing. They may even suggest or prescribe a specific toothpaste, toothbrush, or mouth wash for those who may be more prone to dental disease.
Professional cleanings not only improve the health and strength of your teeth and gums but their appearance as well. When combined with good oral hygiene at home, regular cleanings can help patients enjoy a whiter smile, healthy pink gums, and even better breath. When people are more confident in their smiles, it can have a positive impact on their personal and professional lives.
Early detection of dental issues
When you schedule a checkup, your dentist will do much more than just clean your teeth. They will also perform examinations and screenings that help them check for signs of potential oral health issues. Seeing a dentist on a regular basis can help them detect many problems before symptoms arise, including:
- impacted teeth
- bone loss
- cysts or tumors
The earlier these issues are treated, the better the chances of a positive outcome. Early detection can also give patients more treatment options to choose from that are less invasive or extensive.
Lower risks for other health problems
Your dental health has a major impact on the various systems of your body. People who do not schedule regular dental cleanings are much more likely to develop gum disease. While this issue can cause problems with the teeth and gums, the side effects may not stop there.
Research has shown that people who have chronic gum disease are more likely to experience other health issues, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy complications, and stroke. Seeing a dentist on a routine basis significantly lowers your risk for gum disease, therefore lowering your risk for other major health concerns.
Regular dental cleanings are essential for people of all ages. Seeing your dentist on a routine basis helps keep your smile beautiful, but it also helps control bacteria and reduce tartar buildup. As a result, you are less likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease down the road. The examinations your dentist performs can also help them catch potential problems early, allowing them to develop a better treatment plan with a greater chance for a positive outcome.
Maintaining clean teeth and healthy gums can also reduce your risks of developing serious and even life-threatening issues in the future. For these reasons, it is important to see a dentist at least twice a year. If you do not currently have an appointment scheduled for your next cleaning, contact a dentist today.
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