Taking time to have your teeth cleaned twice a year is one of the best things you can do to ensure your oral health and keep you free of disease. Many people don’t realize that poor oral health can actually affect your overall health.
Dr. Scott Evans shares these seven reasons why you should see a dentist every six months for a dental cleaning.
When you get your teeth cleaned every six months, your dentist can catch tooth decay at an early stage and fill the small cavity. If you wait and don’t see a dentist for a couple of years, that decay could spread to the entire tooth so that it can’t be saved; you might need a crown instead.
The cleaning also removes plaque, the bacteria-laden film on your teeth that leads to tooth decay and gum disease. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Your dentist can detect early signs of gum disease and explain what you can do to stop its progression. Gum disease is a serious condition; if left untreated, it leads to bone loss and tooth loss. Gum recession, which leads to gum disease, can be hereditary or can be a result of poor oral health habits.
Red, inflamed gums and bleeding gums are signs of early gum disease called gingivitis. The infection can progress to periodontitis, the stage of gum disease when you lose soft tissue and even bone that holds your teeth in place. Your gums form pockets that hold food and bacteria below the gum line. Your dentist can take steps to heal the infection and can give you guidance on oral care at home.
Your twice-a-year cleanings provide a deeper cleaning than you get at home from brushing and flossing. Professional dental cleaning helps remove the buildup of coffee, tea, or other stains and polishes your teeth so they’re at their brightest. Getting regular cleanings helps remove these stains. Going without regular cleanings can result in permanently stained teeth.
Regular professional cleanings help keep your breath smelling fresh. The deep cleaning helps destroy the buildup of plaque, which is where the bacteria that cause bad breath live. Brushing alone won’t remove plaque.
Your dentist doesn’t only check your tooth health; they examine your lips, tongue, and face, as well as the lymph nodes under your chin and in your neck for cancer. If you’ve ever smoked or used tobacco, you’re at elevated risk, but even people who have never smoked can get oral cancer. It’s reassuring for your dentist to give the all-clear at your appointment.
Your dentist is a partner in your overall health, not just your dental health. Advanced gum disease can cause blood vessels in your neck to thicken and may lead to heart disease. Regular dental care is also associated with a lower risk of stroke, whereas gum disease is associated with a higher risk.
Spending money on regular dental cleanings now saves you money in the future. Regular dental cleanings help keep your teeth and gums healthy and are a check for oral cancer. If you skip dental cleanings, you are more likely to need a more expensive procedure like a root canal or crown that could have been avoided with regular maintenance visits.
To schedule your appointment for a professional dental cleaning and checkup, call one of Dr. Scott Evans’ offices or book your visit online.