Are you having a hard time believing that it’s already March? We are – it feels like it was Christmas just a few weeks ago! Now it’s time to throw open the windows, air out the house, and finally get around to that cleaning and those projects we’ve been putting off: it’s spring cleaning time!
If you’re getting a list of cleaning activities together don’t forget to add one more to the list: your teeth. It’s easy to get behind on regular six month checkups when you’re busy, but now’s the perfect time to polish up those pearly whites at our Edgewood dentist office.
Dental Cleanings: Are They Really That Important?
Preventive care and maintenance can often be code for “rip off,” can’t it? All those extras at the oil change station, little bits on your house here and there, and – of course – the dentist’s six month appointment window. Is it really that important to get a cleaning twice a year?
We hear questions like that from patients once in a while, and the answer is always the same: it’s essential to have your teeth cleaned every six months! No matter how good you are at brushing and flossing there are still a lot of spots in your mouth that can’t be kept clean easily, and that’s where we come in!
Cavities take a while to form, and a six-month exam schedule allows us to notice small changes well before things become serious. With regular care we can ensure that your dental care is easy, cost-effective, and keeps your natural teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.
The Risks Of Avoiding Dental Exams
Your mouth is full of bacteria. Over 300 strains of it, in fact. Many of those strains are able to metabolize sugars into acid that softens and wears away enamel, causing cavities to form. That same bacteria is also responsible for getting beneath your gums and causing gum disease.
Has your mouth ever felt slimy at the end of the day? That’s plaque bacteria that’s been building up all day. You brush your teeth and floss to keep its spread in check, but that won’t stop it from causing serious problems in the meantime!
Without professional dental care plaque is able to build up in the most vulnerable spots in your mouth. Those spots are usually ones that you can’t reach with normal cleaning habits, which is why they’re so dangerous. Not only will they remain full of bacteria, but it’s impossible for you to notice once a cavity has begun. We see plenty of patients who have been away from the dentist, only to return with multiple cavities in spots that they could never have seen or kept clean.
The same goes for gum disease – when it’s able to sneak below your gumline it starts to spread like wildfire, causing an infection that your body responds to with inflammation. Inflamed gum tissues start to recede, bleed, swell, and become sensitive. Many times those hard-to-clean spots are the first to become infected, and gum disease is only noticed once it is already spreading and becoming serious.
What A Cleaning Can Do For You
Studies suggest that around 90 percent of us will end up with a cavity at some point in our lives. That means that a great many people, even if they see the dentist regularly, will still develop tooth decay. The trick to treating a cavity when it’s just a pinhole versus a serious problem is regular cleanings and exams.
We use X-rays, digital scans, and other imaging techniques to detect cavities when they’re barely forming. When we see even the smallest problem we’re able to address it right then and there with fluoride treatments, sealants, and fillings that can stop the spread of bacteria further and further into your teeth.
Cleanings and exams also involve probing the size of your gingival pockets, which can give us an indicator of any gum disease. Even a few millimeters of variation is enough to allow us to identify, treat, and reverse the damage caused by gum disease.
Keep A Clean House And Mouth This Spring
You don’t need to expose yourself to these risks, and regular twice yearly dental exams are just right for discovering and treating problems before they spread. If you’ve been away from the dentist for a while don’t worry – we’ll gladly see you without any lecture, judgement, or shaming. We just want you to have a healthy smile!