Many people regard regular dental cleanings as optional or unimportant. However, lives have been saved because a dental hygienist spotted the early signs of oral cancer or a severe gum infection. If you have not been seeing your dentist on a regular basis, read the below information as a reminder of how important and easy it can be to get your teeth cleaned.
A Regular Cleaning
Unless you have certain dental concerns, regular cleaning should be scheduled. The hygienist will remove the plaque from your teeth using various instruments. Plaque is a very sticky and dangerous substance that can introduce bacteria into your gums and cause infections. It can also lead to decay. Some dentists use ultrasonic devices to remove plaque.
You may also have some X-rays performed and discuss the findings with your dentist. They will advise you on what procedures you need in the coming months and provide you with a written treatment plan that often includes an estimate of the costs. While many people see their dentist for regular appointments that include a cleaning and a consultation twice a year, you may need more visits than that depending on the general health of your teeth and gums. Those with gum diseases often need to be seen more often so that plaque can be monitored and removed.
Other issues that can affect the frequency of a regular visit are your age, medical conditions, and medication usage. Older adults may need more frequent visits, particularly those suffering from diabetes and other chronic conditions like heart disease. Medication usage can affect the amount of saliva in the mouth and that can create problems. Lowered amounts of saliva can lead to more decay, bad breath, sleeping problems, and gum diseases.
A Deep Cleaning
If you have been skipping your cleaning appointments for a while, you might need a deeper cleaning. Scaling involves the removal of plaque beneath your gumline. You may be numbed for this procedure, but the level of anesthesia needed depends on how sensitive your gums are. Since irritated gums are a prime reason for doing the scaling, discuss this with your dentist. After the procedure, you may need some over-the-counter pain medication for any mild discomfort. Those who often have gum problems may need a series of scaling procedures every so often.
Schedule your dental visit and get your teeth cleaned. Dental health can affect your health in general, so don't put it off.