For over fifty years, dentists have recommended that people go for a dental cleaning twice a year. Back then, dental hygiene wasn't anywhere near as important, or widespread, as it is today, and tooth decay was a much bigger problem.
However, even today, at a time when you have all manner of dental hygiene tools at your disposal, such as floss, toothpaste and oral irrigators, dental cleanings are still necessary. Patients often question the point of dental cleanings. After all, if they are cleaning their teeth properly, then why should they need a dental cleaning once or twice a year?
Plaque Can Build up Fast
Even if you brush and floss diligently, you could still miss those hard to reach places, such as along the gum lines of your molars and wisdom teeth. Plaque, the thin bio-film that contains bacteria, begins to harden within 48 hours. Within 10 days, plaque becomes tartar and is then all but impossible to remove with a toothbrush.
Why is this important? The rough, chalky surface of tartar provides the ideal surface upon which more tartar can form. Tartar irritates gum tissue and eventually leads to gum disease. Not only that, but plaque contains tooth decay-causing bacteria like streptococcus mutans. If plaque is not removed promptly then, your teeth will begin to decay.
Some People Are More at Risk
There are some people who seem to be able to go through life with nary a cavity. However, that is not the case for most people. Research shows that the teeth of smokers have more gram-positive bacteria, in other words, tooth decay-causing bacteria, than non-smokers. Likewise, sufferers of diabetes are more at risk of developing gum disease, a condition caused by plaque.
Genetics also plays a role. The mouths of some people seem to be genetically more favourable to bacteria, leading to more plaque and tartar issues.
Dental Cleanings Remove More Than Just Stains
It may seem like dental cleanings are only done to remove stains or polish teeth, but that isn't the case. Yes, if your teeth are healthy and there is no built-up plaque or tartar, then your teeth will be polished and come out a lot whiter than they were before. However, dental cleanings also help to identify plaque and tartar buildups that you might not have otherwise noticed.
That plaque or tartar can then be removed via planing or scaling, to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Some people can get away with a single dental cleaning per year, but others might need a dental cleaning every 3 months. Rather than wait until you have a dental issue caused by tartar, why not prevent that outcome by booking a dental cleaning at least one a year?
There are more than two ways to straighten a smile, and in this blog, I plan to discuss them all. I plan to look at the differences between braces and retainers and explain why sometimes you may need them both. I look at the differences in cost, time commitment and efficacy. Personally, I have had a bit of experience with this subject – I had braces as a young teen, and I had a permanent retainer. In this blog, I discuss what I have learned, and I present all kinds of new information on the topic. Whether you are trying to make decisions for yourself or your child. I hope you find this information useful.