Can you remember the last time you had your teeth cleaned by a dentist? If the answer is no, you should
consider booking your next appointment. Professional teeth cleanings are essential to help prevent the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems.
You should see your dentist regularly for check-ups and teeth cleanings. This way, your dentist can examine your overall oral health and determine if you have any issues that need to be taken care of; they’ll be able to fix cavities and prevent gum disease from worsening.
But how often should you get your teeth cleaned by a professional, and why is it important?
Why Is Teeth Cleaning Important?
Professional teeth cleaning is crucial, as it ensures your oral hygiene is at its peak. The last thing you want is to deal with numerous cavities, bad breath, and/or stained teeth that result in costly dental bills. Regular cleanings and check-ups can greatly lessen the chances of oral problems.
During a cleaning, your dentist uses special tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup that accumulate on your teeth. If you aren’t brushing and flossing regularly, and you’re avoiding making a trip to your dentist’s office, your mouth may be at risk of plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to issues like tooth decay or gum disease. Cleanings also keep your teeth looking whiter.
In addition, neglect of your oral health can result in poor overall health, such as heart disease, and according to the CDC, 4 in 10 adults aged 30 years or older experience periodontal disease. If early symptoms aren’t treated, your gums could get severely infected, you may even lose one or more teeth, and/or you may develop a heart condition. That’s never a good thing!
Similarly, your health can determine whether you’re likely to develop dental issues. You may be at higher risk of gum disease if:
- You’re diabetic
- You smoke tobacco
- You have a family history of gum disease
How Frequently Do You Need Teeth Cleanings?
Teeth cleaning frequency will depend on the state of your oral hygiene and health. All patients are different, and their needs will vary based on whether they have specific dental issues. Some patients may have developed gum disease and need quarterly cleanings, but most dentists recommend that their patients get their teeth cleaned every 6 months.
Even if you floss and brush regularly, you should see your dentist twice a year for a check-up and watch for:
- Bleeding gums during brushing and flossing
- Tender or puffy gums
- Persistent bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Receding gum line
- Teeth or gum sensitivity when chewing
- Your teeth looking stained
The Dental Cleaning Process
The dental cleaning process may be different between dentists, but you can generally expect the following when you book your teeth cleaning appointment:
The cleaning part of the process is often referred to as “scaling” and involves the removal of plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. Your dental hygienist will start by cleaning those hard-to-reach areas in your mouth with special tools to scrape the hardened plaque. Then, they’ll use flossing techniques and tools when cleaning the spaces between your teeth.
In some instances, your dentist may use a Prophy-Jet, a tool that uses water, abrasive powder, or pressurized air to remove plaque, food particles, and stains. At the very end of the cleaning process, they’ll rinse your mouth with water.
After cleaning, your dentist will use a dental paste and rotating head to buff and polish your teeth to remove stains and increase their shine. Having your teeth polished can reduce plaque and tartar buildup. Polishing also removes bacteria from the surface of your teeth, effectively decreasing the risk of tooth decay or gum disease.
At the end of your cleaning and polishing, your dentist may apply a fluoride treatment to prevent cavities. The fluoride treatment will likely come in the form of a highly concentrated rinse using a gel, paste, or varnish. Your dentist will likely apply the fluoride using a swab, brush, or mouthwash. It only takes a few minutes, but you must usually wait at least 30 minutes after treatment to eat or drink anything. That way, the fluoride can fully absorb into your teeth.
What You Should Do In-between Teeth Cleanings
Keeping up with oral care is essential when managing your dental hygiene between teeth cleanings. Always brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Ensure that you’re brushing at least twice a day or as recommended by your dentist. Daily brushing will thwart the risk of further dental issues.
Flossing is another important step in caring for your teeth. You should floss your teeth once a day and rinse your mouth with a high-quality mouthwash to fight bacteria. You can ask your dentist for recommendations on the best mouthwash to achieve fresh breath and healthy teeth/gums.
Are You Due for a Teeth Cleaning?
Do you have a dental cleaning coming up soon? If it’s been a year or longer since you’ve last received teeth cleaning, you should book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to ensure your oral hygiene is in prime condition.
Are you searching for a family-friendly dentist in Saskatoon? Look no further than Dental House. Our experienced and skilled dentists provide everything from emergency dental services to standard teeth cleanings, whitening, extractions, fillings, and more. Give us a call today and book your next check-up!