Most dentists recommend that patients without significant oral health issues have a routine dental examination at least twice a year. During the examination, the dentist looks for signs of abnormalities and cleans your teeth.
If you have not noticed any problems with your mouth, you may feel that a routine appointment is unnecessary, especially if you are brushing and flossing regularly. However, if you are not having your teeth cleaned at least once every six months, you could be missing out on important benefits. Here are a few reasons to have your teeth professionally cleaned.
Tartar Can Only Be Removed Through Scaling
Even if you are flossing daily and brushing twice a day, your teeth-cleaning efforts are not removing tartar buildup. Tartar is a yellow, porous substance that is too hard to be removed by brushing or flossing. The substance, which has a chalky appearance, accumulates as regular dental plaque is left undisturbed. The plaque, which is usually sticky because of its biofilm content, starts to harden into tartar when it is not removed in its soft state.
The tartar formations must be scraped away by a dental professional. To remove the tartar, the dentist uses a special scaling tool and is careful not to injure the gums and other soft oral tissues. In most cases, a professional dental cleaning takes less than a half hour to complete. However, the length of the cleaning is partially dependent on the amount of tartar on the teeth.
A Professional Cleaning Can Help Discourage Gum Disease
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Thus, it is important to keep your gums as healthy as possible, especially as you grow older. Gum problems occur as the acids produced by oral bacteria inflame the gingival tissues. Plaque is made up of oral bacteria and particles of leftover food. Since the sticky substance can coat the teeth and gums, as the bacteria it contains release acid, the corrosive substance is still in a concentrated when it makes contact with the tooth enamel and gums.
Tartar, which usually builds up at the gum line and between the teeth, provides an additional surface area on which oral bacteria and plaque can accumulate. As the amount of tartar in the mouth increases, you may also see an increase in gingival irritation. Thus, the removal of the tartar during a professional cleaning can help improve your gum health. If you have not had your teeth professionally cleaned in the last six months, schedule a consultation with a dentist like John P Poovey DMD PC.