You’ve heard it a lot. We all have. Your regular, dental cleanings are a critical part of your overall dental health. Chances are, if you’re like a lot of people, you’ve heard it so many times that it just becomes a part of the normal background noise that fits somewhere between the advice to brush your teeth every morning and always buckle up.
Unfortunately, when it gets to that point, it may become a habit, but it can also lose its sense of importance and urgency. It becomes just one more chore that has to be done at some point. And if it reaches that category, “at some point” can get pushed back and pushed back until an entire year has gone by.
But is that such a big deal, some of you may ask. Does it really matter if I’m only getting checked once a year instead of twice?
The simple answer is: yes. It is a big deal. And here’s why:
A Lot Can Change in 6 Months
You semi-annual cleaning will be preceded by a detailed exam of your current dental situation. This is when we can take a close look at what’s going on in your mouth, and provide special diagnoses like:
- Checking your bit patterns
- Oral cancer screenings
- Gum disease screenings
Gum disease can be hard to spot on your own, and the only way to be sure of oral cancer is with a proper biopsy. Either way, we know the signs to look for, and the sooner we spot them, the sooner we’ll be able to provide the necessary treatments.
Preventative Care Is an Ongoing Process
A professional teeth cleaning is more than just a quick go at the plaque that’s building up in hard-to-reach places. It can also include a number of preventative treatments and some specialized procedures to protect the health and appearance of your smile. This can include:
- Plaque and tartar removal
- Teeth polishing
- Stain removal
- Fluoride application
The Cleaning Process is Fast and Painless
Most patients don’t experience any kind of pain during a routine cleaning. The tools we use get the job done include things like ultrasonic instruments that use adjustable vibrations to loosen pieces of tarter and finer hand-held instruments like scalers and curettes to get at the smaller areas.
Each tooth is treated individually to ensure that it is completely free of plaque and tartar, then we can take the time to polish them up and make them look smooth and shiny.
As long as you’re coming in semi-annually, a traditional cleaning shouldn’t take too long at all, and our main goal is just to get at the plaque that you can’t reach with your normal at-home hygiene routines. As long as you’re not showing any signs of gingivitis, this simple cleaning should be all you need.
There are, however, times when the cleaning may be a little more intense, though this is usually reserved for people who are experiencing heavy tartar buildup because they haven’t seen the dentist in more than a year.
So, you may have heard it before, but we’re going to say it again. Your semi-annual cleaning is extremely important. Don’t let it slip you by.