How Often Should I Get My Teeth Cleaned and Why?

Probably, since you were a child, you have heard that you should go to a dental professional to get your teeth cleaned every six months. As you grow older, you may be inclined to let these biannual trips slide. What’s the harm in stretching it out to once a year, you may think. Your Fuquay-Varina dentist, Dr. Mike Hamby, both recommends and emphasizes that you stay on the 6-month schedule.

Even when you have good oral hygiene habits and your mouth is healthy, dental professionals suggest a cleaning at least twice a year. You may still wonder whether these routine dental visits are really necessary and why. At Hamby Family Dental, we think there are three good reasons why maintaining a tooth cleaning schedule twice a year is extremely important for the health of your teeth, your gums, and your overall health.

Assess Your Health and Lifestyle Factors

First, assess your health and lifestyle factors. Everyone is different. Depending on what you eat, how often you brush, how often you floss, and other factors, you may need to go to see your dentist or hygienist at least every six months or more. These are some factors you should consider for yourself:

  1. Does your drinking water have fluoride?
  2. Do you use toothpaste with fluoride?
  3. Do you eat a lot of sweets?
  4. Do you avoid flossing?
  5. Do you floss daily?
  6. Do you brush your teeth daily and, if so, how many times?
  7. Do you need new fillings every time you visit the dentist?
  8. Do you have to wear an appliance such as a denture, mouth guard, or braces?
  9. Do you suffer from a chronic long-term health condition such as diabetes?
  10. Do you suffer from dry mouth?
  11. Do your gums bleed?

If you answer “yes” to most of these questions, you should definitely keep the 6-month cleaning and check-up schedule, and possibly go more often. Many of the factors on this list can mean you accumulate more plaque and bacteria, leading to gum disease and cavities.

Dental Health is Related to Our Overall Health

If you have chronic health issues like a heart condition or diabetes, you need to see your dentist more frequently. These health issues make a person more prone to gum disease. People who take blood thinners and other medications like infusions may need to visit the dentist more frequently as well. These types of medications can affect the process of extracting teeth and other dental work, so it’s important to keep up with the regularly scheduled cleaning and checkups in order to find problems before they become more serious.

Plaque Accumulates Quickly

Plaque is a sticky deposit that is full of bacteria. Even though plaque is removed at the cleaning appointment, it begins to accumulate again within a day or two. It reforms quickly and calcifies onto your teeth within six months. So, with regular flossing and brushing twice a day, you can prevent some buildup, but you aren’t able to kill or remove plaque and tartar once it is there. When it adheres and then hardens, you cannot remove it yourself. It takes a professional with special tools and skills. When you have cleanings twice a year, you usually don’t have the heavy plaque and tartar buildup that can seriously affect your oral health.

Prevent Tooth Decay and Other Problems

Your dentist can detect oral issues early on when you go for regular checkups. Having to lose a tooth due to cavities or gum disease is not only painful, but a missing tooth affects your ability to chew, your smile, and even your self-confidence. If you need to replace the tooth with a dental implant or another replacement system, you may be looking at an expense you would rather not have. Tooth decay doesn’t happen overnight; instead, it usually progresses over a period of time. Seeing a dentist on a regular schedule provides detection and diagnosis for issues causing tooth decay, which ultimately can save your teeth.

Other serious problems can also be revealed early during regular visits to the dentist. Exams can show signs of oral cancer, receding gums, anemia, and other medical problems. Gum disease is connected to cardiovascular disease, so a dentist who sees these signs can catch it early and lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Call Us for Dental Cleaning and Checkups!

As you can see, there are important reasons for having regular, 6-month cleanings and checkups. Visiting our Fuquay-Varina dentist and dental professionals at Hamby Family Dental on a regular basis can help decrease the need for more complex and expensive dental treatment in the future. Use the form below or call (919) 552-2431 to request your appointment.

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