How Often To Get Teeth Cleaned
Your dental health is important — not just for appearance but also because it’s essential for good overall health. For example, gum disease can cause tooth loss and even death. Other problems include cavities, bad breath, pain during eating or smiling, loose fillings that may fall out, etc.
If you’re brushing and flossing regularly, then you’re probably doing all right. But if you’d like to be sure that your gums are healthy and bacteria-free, then consider getting regular cleanings with professional dental services. That way, you’ll keep plaque from building up on surfaces where it can create stains. And while we don’t want too much tartar (hardened plaque) forming between our teeth, some buildup is necessary in areas such as under the tongue where bacteria can thrive. Otherwise, there could be an increased risk of oral cancer due to exposure to carcinogens that form when our teeth grind away at enamel.
Regular cleanings allow dentists to check for signs of gum inflammation, which might indicate the presence of gingivitis, also known as chronic gingival inflammation, or gum infection. This condition causes red, swollen gums around the front upper and lower teeth. It usually occurs after prolonged periods of bacterial growth, and in severe cases it can lead to bone loss, tooth loss, and even tooth loosening.
Gum disease can occur more frequently among people who smoke cigarettes, use alcohol excessively or chew tobacco products. So if you’ve been diagnosed with this problem, tell your dentist and ask about ways to stop smoking, drinking, chewing tobacco, etc. You may need to take prescription medications to manage any underlying conditions.
Once you know what type of gum disease you have, you can work toward treating it. However, prevention is always easier than treatment. Here are some tips on how often to go to the dentist.
At least twice yearly – The American Dental Association suggests going to the dentist every six months or so. At these visits, the dentist will examine your mouth by looking inside your cheeks and lips, making sure they feel smooth and free of sores. He or she will look at your teeth and try to figure out whether you’re suffering from gum disease. In addition, the dentist may choose to perform additional tests such as x-rays to see if you have lost bone.
Twice yearly – Some experts recommend visiting your dentist twice each year. While twice yearly appointments are recommended for those with no prior evidence of gum disease, anyone with a family member or close friend who has had this issue previously would benefit from this schedule.
Every 4 months – Many insurance plans require you to see your dentist four times per year. Your plan may specify particular dates for your annual exam and cleanings. Or if you prefer, you can call your insurance company and request specific dates for your appointment.
More often if you suffer from gum disease – People who already have gum disease may need to see their dentist more often than the typical two times per year. These patients will likely need deep scaling (removal of hardened deposits), root planing and polishing, and possibly antibiotic treatments. Talk to your dentist about when you should come in for a cleaning.
While the exact number of days varies according to various factors such as age, diet, and dental care habits, most experts suggest scheduling at least three times a year to maintain proper dental hygiene. As mentioned earlier, these cleansings help remove built-up plaque that can otherwise become stained. They also provide a better view of your pearly whites, allowing you to spot potential issues before they turn into larger problems. Lastly, if you do happen to miss one of your scheduled appointments, don’t worry. Most dentists won’t charge extra fees for rescheduling unless you didn’t show up within thirty days of your original appointment time.
Most people start seeing their dentist at age 12, although many adults begin their first visit before turning 20. Yet only half of adults reach their 40s without ever having another dental checkup. With proper maintenance and attention, however, your smile should last well into adulthood!
To learn more about maintaining great oral health, brush up on the links on the following page.
There are several options available for cleaning teeth. A manual toothbrush uses small bristles to gently scrub surfaces. An electric toothbrush works similarly, except its brushes move back and forth rather than side to side. Both types of devices use different techniques and produce unique results. Electric toothbrushes tend to clean deeper crevices while manual toothbrushes are less effective at removing plaque and debris. Dentists advise using both methods since neither achieves everything alone.
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