The results of a recent survey showed that 42 percent of adults do not go to the dentist as often as they’d like. Are you part of this group that neglects regular cleanings and dentist visits?
If so, it’s important to start making trips to the dentist a priority.
Don’t wait until something goes wrong to make an appointment. Go in for regular professional teeth cleaning now so that you’ll be less likely to have to deal with painful and expensive issues later on.
Not sure what regular teeth cleanings entail? Don’t know how often should you get them?
Read on to learn to have all your teeth cleaning questions answered.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Cleaning
If you’re part of the group of people who want to visit the dentist more often, you likely know why professional cleanings are so important.
If you’re not part of this group, though, you might be wondering why you need to make cleanings a priority. Are they really necessary, especially if you are good about brushing and flossing on your own?
The short answer is that, yes, regular cleanings are essential for everyone, even those who have a good oral hygiene routine nailed down.
There are many reasons why you need to get your teeth cleaned and examined on a regular basis, including the following:
- Get rid of stains and discoloration that affect the appearance of your smile
- Reduce the risk of dental decay, gum disease, and tooth loss
- Prevent other health problems that stem from poor oral health (heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, oral cancer immune system disorders, etc.)
- Catch dental issues early and stop them from getting worse
It’s also important to note that most dental cleanings are free. If you have dental insurance, your insurance provider will likely cover the cost of your cleanings, so there’s no reason not to go in on a regular basis.
How Often Should You Go to the Dentist?
Okay, you can see that it’s important to go to the dentist for regular cleanings. How often do you need these cleanings, though?
As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to go and see the dentist for a cleaning once every six months.
Most insurance providers will pay for two cleanings per year, so you might as well take advantage of that offering and go for semiannual visits.
Can I Go Less Often?
What if you don’t have dental insurance, though, or your insurance doesn’t cover multiple visits? Should you still go twice per year?
For most people, two cleanings a year is still a good idea. At the bare minimum, though, you ought to go at least once every year.
If you are only going to go to the dentist once per year, you will need to be very diligent with your at-home care and cleaning.
Should I Go More Often?
Some people also need to see the dentist on a more frequent basis than others.
If you are at high risk of developing dental disease, or if you currently suffer from gum disease, you may need to see the dentist three or four times per year to make sure everything is okay and the disease isn’t progressing.
Some people who will likely need to see the dentist on a regular basis include:
- Those who smoke
- Women who are pregnant
- Those with diabetes
- Those with current gum disease
- Those with weak or impaired immune systems
- Those who have a tendency to get cavities easily
Keep in mind, too, that you may need to see the dentist more often during certain stages of life.
For example, when you’re going through a stressful time or dealing with a long-term illness, your chances of developing tooth decay may increase and you may benefit from more frequent cleanings.
What to Expect from a Professional Cleaning
Many people avoid dental cleanings not because they think they’re unimportant, but because they’re nervous about sitting in the dentist’s chair.
Dental anxiety is especially common among those who haven’t had their teeth cleaned or examined for a while.
If you’re struggling with dental anxiety, it helps to know what to expect during a typical appointment. Every visit to the dentist is a bit different, of course. Most cleanings go something like this, though:
When you first arrive at the dentist’s office, a dental hygienist will perform an initial inspection of your teeth. During this inspection, they’ll look for any obvious signs of dental decay. They’ll likely take x-rays of your mouth at this time, too.
Next, they’ll work on removing plaque and tartar from your teeth. This can be a bit uncomfortable, but your hygienist will try to minimize your discomfort as much as possible.
Cleaning and Flossing
After this, the hygienist will clean and floss your teeth. They’ll take care to get into all the nooks and crannies, including areas you might have a tendency to miss.
Many hygienists apply a fluoride treatment to the teeth, too. Fluoride helps to protect the teeth from decay and cavities.
Once your teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, the dentist will come in and perform a final inspection.
They’ll let you know if there are any cavities that need to be filled (this will likely take place during a separate appointment) or other issues that you ought to address.
Schedule Your Cleaning Today
Regular teeth cleanings are a must if you want to maintain good oral health and avoid oral problems (with your teeth or your general health) in the future.
Remember, it’s always easier to prevent dental problems than it is to fix them.
Now that you know how important cleanings are and how often you ought to be visiting the dentist for professional teeth cleaning, it’s time to schedule an appointment and make it happen.
If you live in or around the Denver Metro area, contact us at Willow Creek Way to schedule a cleaning today.
We have several offices throughout the area, so it’s easy for you to find a time and location that works best for you and your schedule!