While brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash daily help to keep your teeth healthy, that is not enough.
Getting regular dental cleanings helps keep teeth clean and healthy by removing plaque buildup and addressing problems before they become serious.
So how often should you get dental cleanings, and what can you expect to have done at a dental cleaning?
Keep reading to learn when to visit the dentist and what to expect, so you are prepared!
What Does a Dental Cleaning Involve?
When you go in for a dental cleaning, the hygienist will check for multiple things before and during the cleaning of your teeth.
The main things checked are:
- Gingivitis or other gum diseases
- Broken teeth
- Issues with previous dental work
- Tooth decay
- Loose fillings
- Misaligned bite
Before cleaning your teeth, the hygienist will check for any of the above-listed problems and proceed with the main cleaning.
The cleaning is when the dentist removes plaque buildup from your teeth, floss, and then polishes your teeth.
If you are at a high risk of tooth decay, they may suggest a fluoride coating to help keep your teeth strong.
Once that is all completed, you will be good to go as long as the hygienist discovers no problems during the cleaning.
Typically the cleaning will last about 30 minutes unless it has been a year since your last set of dental x-rays.
When You Should Get Dental Cleanings
Dentists recommend dental cleanings every six months if your teeth are healthy and you are not at serious risk for dental problems like gum disease or tooth decay.
However, if you are at high risk for tooth decay, it is often recommended that you come in for a cleaning every three to four months.
That way, the dentist can keep a closer eye on your teeth and catch any problems that may develop before they become serious.
Another reason for more frequent cleanings is if you have diabetes or heart disease, which are both linked to poor dental health.
Finally, if you have not been to the dentist in many years, it may require extra regular visits for some time to bring your teeth back to their healthy, strong selves.
Why Dental Cleanings are Important
Dental cleanings are important because even if you have perfect oral care, it is still not enough to clean your teeth.
Plaque remains soft on the teeth for several hours but then will begin to harden into tartar which you cannot remove via brushing.
That is why you need to visit a dentist with the tools necessary to remove the plaque buildup before it can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental cleanings are also important because dentists are trained to identify dental problems developing that you may not catch.
Even if everything feels fine, avoiding regular dental cleanings can cause many problems that will be difficult to fix in the future.