Though you may have heard plenty of times that you should be getting your teeth cleaned regularly, many people don’t actually know why it’s so important. The cleaning procedure is never painful and gives you a whole host of benefits that will keep your pearly whites healthy in the long term. However, getting your teeth cleaned regularly means finding a dentist that you can trust for a comfortable experience when you’re in the chair.
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How to Find the Perfect Dentist
When you need a primary care dentist, look for an affordable one that accepts your insurance or offers payment plans if you have no insurance. You also want to look for one with an excellent reputation, with dentists and a team that genuinely cares about their patients and gives them the best oral health care possible.
If you’re located in the Tucson area of Arizona, check out some of the services from Wilmot Family Dentistry. They offer a wide range of oral health care services, including family dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, and sedation dentistry. Led by the expert Dr. Lyman, every staff member at Wilmot is dedicated to giving the local Tucson community beautiful, white smiles.
Visit Your Dentist Every Six Months for a Healthy Smile
So, what’s the verdict when it comes to how often you should be getting your teeth cleaned? Well, it depends on your oral health. If you have relatively good oral hygiene, it’s perfectly okay to get your pearly whites cleaned twice a year. For those who don’t have perfect oral health but want to improve their smile, schedule a cleaning every three months to give your teeth some extra TLC. Though the additional cleanings may not be covered on your insurance plan, it’s worth it to get a beautiful, healthy smile.
If you have insurance, look at your plan to see how many visits are covered. Typically, insurance companies will cover two cleanings a year. Unfortunately, many people don’t take advantage of the full benefits available to them. Even if you don’t have insurance, most dentists will work with you to form a payment plan that fits in your budget.
Benefits of Scheduling Regular Teeth Cleanings
You may think you know all the good stuff that comes with professional teeth cleaning—it removes plaque, improves gums, etc. However, there are more advantages than you might realize to keeping your teeth in excellent health. Here are the main benefits of getting your teeth professionally cleaned at least once every six months.
1. Prevents Gum Disease
Gum disease, or gingivitis, can be crippling for your teeth. According to the CDC, almost half of all Americans suffer from gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, it occurs when plaque builds up along the gum line, leading to an infection in your gums. However, with a regular visit to your dentist, you can prevent gingivitis and keep your gums healthy and pink!
2. Prevents Heart Disease, Too
According to some recent studies, there is an association between gum disease and heart disease. Research shows that people suffering from gum disease have a 20% higher risk of contracting heart disease. The inflammation and bacteria in your gums can potentially lead to your arteries narrowing, causing cardiovascular issues. When you go to your dentists and get your teeth cleaned regularly, you can prevent periodontal disease before it has a chance to affect your heart.
3. Saves You Money in the Long Run
When you have regular deep cleanings, your dentist can detect issues early, before they become irreparably damaging to your mouth. This includes problems like cavities, broken fillings, fractured teeth, and gingivitis. By catching issues before they become serious, you will save money in the long run by avoiding expensive dental surgery. Preventative care is much less costly than the work it takes to fix major dental issues, particularly those that require surgery.
4. Gives You Brighter, Whiter Teeth
Are you a coffee lover or a smoker? If so, your teeth could be at risk for unsightly stains. There’s an overwhelming number of at-home teeth whitening kits, strips, and liquids available, but they don’t compare to how white your teeth will be with regular deep cleaning. Most dentist offices also offer cosmetic whitening services for a more permanent smile solution.
What Happens During a Regular Cleaning?
If you’re a little anxious or nervous about getting your teeth cleaned, don’t be. It’s painless and consists of only a few quick steps. When you know what to expect, it makes the whole experience of getting in the chair a little less daunting.
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The first step to a deep cleaning is a comprehensive exam of your mouth by a dental hygienist. Usually, x-rays are taken to check out your bones, jaw, and the roots of your teeth. They will also use a tool with a small, round mirror to explore all the crevices inside your mouth.
The next step is the actual cleaning. The hygienist begins the process by scraping any plaque or tartar off your teeth with a scaler, which is a small scraping tool. When that’s completed, the next step is using a high-powered electric toothbrush with a soft, gritty toothpaste to expertly polish and clean your teeth until they shine.
Professional teeth cleaning wouldn’t be complete without flossing. Your hygienist usually flosses your teeth after they finish with the electric toothbrush. Flossing is critical for optimal oral health because it removes plaque and small food particles that get stuck between your teeth, an area very vulnerable to decay. Flossing is an essential part of preventing gum disease and keeping your teeth clean.
The last part of a standard cleaning is the fluoride treatment. Fluoride helps keep tooth enamel strong and is typically applied with a swab directly on your teeth. If you’re worried about the taste, fluoride is available in a variety of flavors, and it comes as a gel, liquid, or foam. After a fluoride treatment, you should not eat or drink anything for at least thirty minutes to allow proper enamel penetration.
Schedule Cleanings Twice a Year For a Beautiful, Healthy Smile
If you want to keep your smile looking bright and white, schedule a deep clean at least twice a year with your family dentist. Though you may be nervous, the cleaning process is a painless procedure that can even be comfortable with the right dentist. Getting a deep clean every six months helps prevent gum disease, cavities, tooth decay, and even heart disease. There’s no question about it—getting your teeth cleaned regularly is a smart idea.