A common misconception is that, if you are diligent about brushing and flossing, you won’t need to visit your dentist for your dental cleanings regularly. This isn’t true for a few reasons. Cleaning away plaque and tartar isn’t the only thing that happens at these appointments, so here are three reasons why these dental cleanings are pretty important to your dental health.
- We can reach the places you can’t. It only takes a small amount of plaque to lead to a cavity or to irritate your gums. This can eventually lead to periodontal (gum) disease. While the surface may seem smooth, your teeth actually have countless nooks and crannies in which plaque and tartar can build up, and even the most careful and diligent brusher would not be able to reach every trace of plaque. Between the teeth and behind the molars are particularly tricky areas to reach. Plaque that is not cleaned away hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by professional tools. Your hygienist will be able to examine every space on your teeth and thoroughly clean it.
- We can help you improve your technique. Unfortunately, people who think they have a great oral health routine can still end up with cavities and gum disease. This isn’t due to their negligence but to their technique. When you visit the dentist, your hygienist will review your home care habits with you and will be able to provide you with tips and recommendations on how to maximize the effectiveness of your oral care routine.
- We screen you for periodontal disease and other serious conditions. Many common dental conditions are fairly easy to treat if they are caught in their earliest stages. The problem is that, at that stage, there aren’t any noticeable symptoms. It takes a trained professional – i.e., dentists and hygienists – to spot problems early on and provide treatment before they develop into something more serious.
If it’s been a while since you’ve visited your dentist, be sure to make an appointment soon to take care of your oral health.