If you can’t remember when you last visited the dentist for an exam and cleaning, don't delay any longer. Your long-term health may depend on it.
Although getting a cleaning every six months is the standard, the American Dental Association points out that different people may have to go more or less often because "the frequency of their regular dental visits should be tailored by their dentists to accommodate for their current oral health status and health history.”
If you're not convinced, consider these eight reasons regular dental cleanings are so important.
You'll avoid serious health conditions
Keeping your mouth healthy is as much about protecting your oral health as your overall health.
“Your oral health and physical health are interconnected," according to Stubbs Dental. "When plaque buildup and unhealthy bacteria are left unaddressed, they can begin to erode your enamel and cause infection along your gum line. As the infection spreads, it will result in severe tooth damage and gum disease. This serious condition has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other serious health issues."
You'll save money
Practicing preventive dentistry through regular cleanings saves you money by minimizing your need for costly and extensive treatments down the line.
The time you take now to visit your dentist is an investment in your future. Root canals, veneers, crowns, implants and other treatments are not only costly, they could trigger problems with surrounding teeth, costing you more money. While they can be necessary and helpful, it is better to avoid them by getting regular cleanings.
You'll receive a fluoride treatment
Many people turn to bottled water for their H20 needs, but this could deprive them of needed fluoride, which is available in tap water in many local communities, according to the Utah Department of Health. Most bottled waters do not contain optimal levels of fluoride, according to WebMD.
Regardless of how much water you drink from a bottle or the tap, fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office are an essential part of preventive dentistry.
“Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by making the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from plaque bacteria and sugars in the mouth,” according to WebMD.
Professional fluoride treatments also have more fluoride than fluoride-enriched toothpaste and mouth rinse.
You'll get rid of stubborn plaque
You may have achieved expert status in your teeth-brushing skills but still fail to remove plaque. If plaque is left to fester, it can turn into tartar in 24-72 hours, and that can be removed only with professional tools at a dental office, according to Crest.
Plaque is the leading cause of tooth decay, and 68 percent of adults have tartar, according to Crest.
“Plaque that stays on your teeth can harden under or above your gum line into tartar (calculus)," according to the Mayo Clinic. "Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and creates a shield for bacteria.”
Plaque and tartar buildup are unavoidable, but they are easily treatable with a dental cleaning.
You'll catch early cavities
Dentists have the technology to discover cavities in their smallest stages to help patients avoid the drill and lost enamel.
That's because small cavities can be treated without a drill, whereas large cavities not only require more invasive measures, they can lead to other long-term issues.
During a dental cleaning and exam, your dentist looks for signs of early cavities to help you avoid tooth decay disasters.
You can ask for remineralization
Diet and lifestyle habits directly impact the health of your teeth. If your teeth are not receiving the nutrients and minerals they need to stay strong, you can suffer visual signs of de-calcification in the form of white spots or cavities.
Regular dental cleanings let your dentist check your teeth for problem areas.
Dentists can detect enamel demineralization, and then prescribe treatments to remineralize your teeth and prevent the need for a filling.
You'll learn proper oral home care
Establishing effective oral home care is a team effort between you and your dentist. During a professional cleaning, your dentist can alert you to areas that are being neglected and need attention.
Learning correct techniques for flossing and brushing will make your mouth feel cleaner between appointments and support your goal of oral health.
You'll get a confidence boost
A healthy smile is a confident smile. A survey showed that the thing most people would like to change about their smile is to have whiter teeth, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Committing to regular dental cleanings will not only give you peace of mind, but it will also give you visual results you can share every time you smile.
Part of that comes from teeth polishing, which adds glimmer to your pearly whites. Need an extra boost? Ask for a whitening treatment, something nearly 90 percent of patients request, according to the American Association of Orthodontists.
Get all the benefits of regular cleanings by scheduling an appointment at Stubbs Dental. Even if you're self-conscious about how long it's been since you've visited the dentist, the experts at Stubbs Dental will help you get on the path to dental — and overall — health.