Preventive dentistry is probably the best investment you can make in your oral and overall health. Regular teeth cleaning and routine exams can help ensure your teeth stay healthy for a lifetime of beauty and function. And here’s another reason to smile: you’ll have more days to enjoy the beauty of your smile.
Benefits of Professional Cleaning and Check-ups
Many people think that preventive maintenance of their teeth is unnecessary. They think that the mantra “if it ain’t broke . . . don’t fix it” means that they should only go to the dentist when they have serious oral health problems like tooth pain, a loose tooth, or bleeding gums. But there are actually many benefits to making your regular dental visits, including:
- Get teeth cleaner than at home
- Learn how to adjust hygiene routine for maximum benefit
- Detect and repair tooth problems when they’re minor
- Screen for related oral health problems
Getting your professional cleanings can save you a lot of money, and maybe even your life.
Why Professional Cleaning Is Necessary
If you’re cleaning your teeth every day, brushing twice and flossing at least once, why do you need professional cleanings?
If you were perfect at cleaning your teeth, it might not be necessary to get your teeth cleaned at our office. But nobody’s perfect. And if there are some parts where you’re not removing all the plaque from your teeth, that plaque will absorb minerals from your saliva. These minerals are intended to harden your teeth, but they can also harden dental plaque into a form we call tartar or dental calculus. Once it is hardened, you can’t remove it with a toothbrush or floss, and it becomes a shelter for bacteria, which can then grow, causing more damage to your teeth and gums.
But we can safely remove the tartar from your teeth to help keep oral bacteria under control. This is especially important in helping you avoid gum disease.
Adjust Your Hygiene Routine
The pattern of tartar deposits gives us clues about how effective your current oral hygiene routine is. If you only have a small amount of tartar–great, you don’t need to change.
But if we notice that there are places that just aren’t getting cleaned well enough, we will make recommendations.
Some people will benefit from other cleaning tools. An electric toothbrush can be very helpful. When people find flossing a challenge, interdental cleaners and water flossers can be a boon. Other people just need to change their routine. They might want to brush more (or less), floss more often, or get a different technique. Our experienced staff knows many potential tricks to help you get better results.
A Filling in Time
Dental problems are progressive–they get worse over time. If you don’t get them treated when they’re small, they will become larger, more expensive to treat, and more dangerous to your health.
Getting regular dental checkups allows us to find cavities when they’re small, before they need dental crowns or root canal therapy.
A Comprehensive Exam
During your exam, we will do more than just look for cavities. We’ll also look for other potential problems that could put your health at risk. We will look for signs of oral cancer and may use special screening tools. We will also look for excessive tooth wear that may be a warning sign of TMJ. We will also check up on the health of your old restorations to make sure they are not becoming problems.
How Often Do You Need a Checkup?
In general, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that people see their dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams. However, this is not a universal guideline. Some people may not need to see their dentist as often. Others may need to see their dentist more often.
At your exams, we will get a sense of how well you are maintaining your oral health between visits. If there are problems, we may recommend more frequent visits. Or if you’re doing well, we may extend the recommended time between visits.
If you are overdue for a checkup and routine exam in Anchorage, we would love to welcome you here at Denali Dental Care, where we use personalized dentistry to achieve outstanding results. Please call (907) 274-7691 today for an appointment.