It’s been six months since you’ve last seen your dentist, it’s time for your bi-annual cleaning! It is recommended that you visit your dentist a minimum of every six months.
What Are Regular Dental Cleanings?
No matter how often you clean your teeth at home, getting that “fresh from the dentist” feeling seems nearly impossible. When you go to your dentist for a regular cleaning session your dentist does a variety of things that you can’t necessarily do on your own.
This isn’t the only reason we go for dental cleanings. During your appointment, your dentist will examine your overall oral health. They will screen you for oral cancer, check for signs of gum disease, bruxism, and take x-rays to determine your overall oral health.
The main reason we have regular dental cleanings is prevention. Regular cleanings are an efficient means of preventative dentistry.
Your dentist can prevent dental problems by regularly cleaning and checking your teeth. They can also identify any signs of illness early, so that they can prevent oral health problems in the future.
Who Benefits from Regular Cleanings?
You! We’re only human and with busy jobs to attend to, families to care for and friends to visit, oral health can fall at the end of a lot of our schedules.
If there are nights where you forget to brush your teeth, tooth aches you try to ignore, or any changes that you notice in your mouth, you bi-annual cleanings are a good time to discuss these troubles with your dentist.
Bi-annual cleanings are an opportunity to focus solely on your oral health. It’s okay if you forget certain aspects of oral upkeep at times. Meeting with your dentist twice per year helps to get you back on track. It also helps to identify any areas of your mouth that are in need of dental care.
Proper oral health will prevent or help to quickly discover oral diseases like gingivitis or periodontal disease.
Regular dental cleanings should be introduced at a young age. If you have children, you are responsible for their oral health.
They should have their first visit to the dentist just after their first birthday. Even at this age, the dentist can check for any signs of illness or abnormality in the palate or gums.
Why You Need Regular Cleanings
At LA Dental Clinic, we have a helpful video that helps explain additional reasons for why your regular cleanings are so important:
How Often Do I Need My Teeth Cleaned?
The minimum for professional tooth cleanings is every six months. During the cleanings, your dental assistant or hygienist will ensure that your mouth is thoroughly clean and polished. Your dentist will then check your mouth and meet with you, to learn about how your oral health has been, and discuss any problems you, or they, have noticed.
You can visit your dentist at any time and six months is a suggested timespan, rather than the amount of time that fits everyone. You can request a cleaning at anytime.
If you have poor oral health, or are recovering from gum disease or oral surgery, your dentist will likely recommend that you return for cleanings and checkups more frequently until your mouth has had a chance to heal.
What Happens During A Regular Dental Cleaning?
There are usually two segments to a regular dental cleaning. The first is when a dental assistant or hygienist cleans your mouth thoroughly. This ensures your dentist can see your teeth clearly, and it benefits your oral health.
The second section of the appointment is when you get to meet with your dentist. The entire appointment will not take long, most last for around an hour.
In the first portion of your dental cleaning, you will be seated in a dental chair. Your dental hygienist will ask about your oral health, and ask about any concerns that you may have with your teeth. They will ask if you have noticed any sensitivities and will often perform an x-ray for your dentist to assess.
They will then proceed by cleaning your teeth. Your teeth are usually brushed and special tools are used to pick and scrape plaques from between your teeth and around your gums. They will rinse your mouth with water and proceed to a fluoride treatment.
Fluoride treatments help to restore essential nutrients to your tooth enamel. Every day as we go through our daily activities and eat or drink, we lose valuable minerals in our tooth enamel. Fluoride treatments can help to replenish and strengthen this strong, protective layer of your teeth.
Your dental hygienist will relay the information about any changes you’ve noticed in your teeth to your dentist. Your dentist will look over your x-rays and come into the room to greet you. It is important to be completely honest with your dentist about your oral health and dental history.
If your teeth are looking fine and you have not noticed anything different about your oral health, your dentist will continue by screening you for any signs of oral cancer.
If you have noticed changes in your oral health and you bring this up with your dentist, this is an opportunity to talk with them and go over potential solutions.
For example, if you have noticed your gums feel itchy or inflamed, and they bleed excessively during your routine cleaning, this is an early sign of gum disease. Your dentist will recommend you go for a deep cleaning, to have plaques removed from beneath your gums.
Your dentist will suggest solutions to any problems that they notice. Remember, your dentist wants to prevent any potential oral health risks.
If your dentist suggests you may need your wisdom teeth removed, you do not have to have the procedure done. The dentist simply recommends what they think would be best for you and your overall health.
You are more than welcome to decline and continue going for your regular cleanings. Bi-annual cleanings are essential for long lasting oral health.
How Do I Keep My Teeth Clean In Between Appointments?
Your dentist will suggest what is best when it comes to at home dental care. Here are some tips on how to keep your teeth feeling great until your next appointment!
Brush and Floss
It is essential that you brush your teeth twice per day, and that you floss a minimum of once per day. You can use a non abrasive mouth wash as well, but it is not necessary.
Upgrade Your Brush
If you like the feeling of your teeth after a thorough dental cleaning, there are ways to get a similar feeling at home. Invest in a new toothbrush! Any will do, but be sure it has soft bristles so that you do not damage your tooth enamel. An electric toothbrush is a good idea for those who have a busy schedule.
The food you eat plays a major role in your overall oral health. You may not think about it but your teeth are exposed to everything you consume first hand! Crunchy vegetables such as celery or carrots actually clean your teeth as well, whereas more mushy soft foods such as cheesecake leave a residue.