What’s the Point of Dental Cleanings?

Dentists generally recommend that patients complete routine appointments every six months to a year. If you have more complicated oral issues, you may need to go more often. Many people may opt not to go to the dentist if they are not currently experiencing any major issues. However, this line of thinking may be to your detriment. It is important to go to the dentist as recommended in order to keep your oral health at its best.

Going to the dentist can be seen as a hassle for some people, but it is vital. When you go to your dentist for a routine appointment, you will get a teeth cleaning. This may not seem overly important, especially if you have solid oral hygiene. However, cleanings are an essential part of your oral health care. 

Smiling woman in dental chair getting dental cleaning dentists in Bethesda Maryland

What Do They Do?

Your dentist provides dental cleanings as a part of your routine visit. The goal of teeth cleaning is to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. You may think that this is unnecessary if you brush and floss your teeth as recommended. However, dental cleanings are much more thorough than you are capable of doing at home. 

At the beginning of your procedure, your dental hygienist will take x-rays of your mouth. This allows your dental team to see the bigger picture of your oral health. They will be able to know if you are developing problems that haven’t begun showing symptoms. This can help you save pain, time, and money in the future. 

Next, your hygienist will use a scaler to scrape away plaque buildup from your teeth. If you have tartar (a calcified form of plaque), they will be able to remove it. In fact, a professional cleaning is the only way to get rid of tartar once it develops. Part of this process involves scraping and flossing the plaque from your gum line and between your teeth. This helps to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. 

Once the plaque is scraped away, your hygienist will polish your teeth. This step in the process will remove any remaining plaque buildup from your teeth. Your hygienist will use a tool with a rotating head to polish and shine your teeth. 

What Happens If You Miss Your Cleanings?

Regular dental cleanings and exams are extremely important for your oral health. Missing a cleaning here or there won’t be overly detrimental. However, extended absences from the dentist may prove costly over time. Your dental professional will be able to clean places that you cannot regularly reach. In the long term, this can help you avoid severe conditions like tooth decay or gum disease

If you have a good oral health routine, you shouldn’t expect any surprises during your visits. This may give you some incentive to visit the dentist continually. Sometimes, patients hesitate to go to the dentist for fear of pain or the unknown. Even if you do have an unexpected issue, catching it early will allow your dentist to be able to treat you more efficiently. The earlier you catch certain conditions, the better your chances are of eliminating them