You have undoubtedly heard the advice to have your teeth cleaned by the dentist at least once every six months. But have you ever wondered why that is? Or, perhaps you wonder what your dentist can do that you can’t? There are reasons for the recommended six-month dental cleanings, which we explain below. Once you understand the reasons behind dental cleanings, you may be more enthusiastic about scheduling them.
Why Should I See My Dentist for Dental Cleanings?
When your dentist or dental hygienist cleans your teeth, they provide several services at once. First, they remove any tartar buildup on your teeth, which prevents tooth decay and gum disease. Second, they look for any signs of health risks like inflammatory gum disease or mouth cancer. If your dentist can identify these problems early, you can receive treatment early as well.
By having your dentist look at your teeth every six months, you can also receive advice for your at-home dental routine.
How Often Should I Schedule Dental Cleanings?
Scheduling dental cleanings every six months is a good general rule, but it may not work for everyone. How often you see your dentist depends on a few factors. People with a history of chronic gum disease, for instance, should visit their dentist more often. Additionally, diet, health history, personal dental care, and even genetics can all affect a person’s susceptibility to tooth decay.
Ask your dentist for their recommendation for your dental cleaning schedule. If they recommend more than twice a year, ask them why they recommend that regimen.
What Can Dental Cleanings Do That At-Home Cleanings Cannot?
The main difference between dental cleanings and at-home cleanings comes down to the difference between tartar and plaque. Plaque is a soft film that builds up on your teeth and under your gums throughout the day. It contains bacteria that combine with food sugars to produce acid, which over time, wears away at enamel and produces cavities. You can remove plaque yourself by brushing and flossing.
However, when plaque isn’t removed, it hardens into tartar. Tartar can trigger tooth decay, but it is much harder to get rid of. The only reliable way to remove tartar is with the help of a professional. Dentists and dental hygienists are trained to use scalers to reach tartar and remove it. Without the help of a dentist, tartar can build up and cause severe problems that require more treatment.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
While these tips can help with some tooth and gum sensitivity issues, we know the best way of correcting the problem is to visit your dentist regularly. Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.