Dental health is important for everyone, but how we go about taking care of our teeth, as well as how many people go to the dentist, varies widely. According to various statistics, Americans brush their teeth for less than the recommended time they need to, only 30% floss daily, 32% never floss and 61% use a variety of inappropriate things to get things out of their teeth. And out of 77% of adults who say they’re going to make a dental visit, only about 37% do.
These facts alone can demonstrate a lot we don’t know or do to take care of our teeth, so when it comes to getting teeth cleanings from your dentist, it’s understandable that we may have some misconceptions about its function in our dental health. To understand this treatment, we examine what teeth cleaning is, its overall benefits, and how frequently you should get one.
When you’re brushing and flossing at home, your goal is to get and keep your teeth clean, but long-term care for teeth is more involved than the daily dental routine. There are simply some things you can’t remove from teeth at home, and the teeth cleaning process is more comprehensive than the few minutes most people spend with a toothbrush and dental floss.
After getting a dental exam to determine the health of your teeth, professional teeth cleaning generally consists of removing plaque and tartar, gentle scrubbing with gritty toothpaste, expert flossing, rinsing, and fluoride treatment. The primary work relies on how well you care for your teeth, but teeth cleanings are necessary even if you brush and floss like you’re supposed to.
Home dental care can’t reach some places, and the tools used to clean teeth can treat specific issues. Tartar and plaque buildup on teeth can get into areas that dental tools at home can’t reach, and the methods we use to plane and scale teeth are not things you can do yourself. We work to clean the entire surface of teeth and remove tartar from the gum, where it can do a lot of damage. From there, we brush and rinse your teeth with fluoride to help keep them strong. For teeth that need more work, deep cleanings may be necessary.
The standard time frame between cleanings is about six months, often enough to check regularly for cavities or other dental problems in healthy teeth. However, that period doesn’t necessarily reflect your specific needs if you don’t brush and floss frequently (or at all), or if you’re dealing with conditions like diabetes, a family history of gum problems, or you smoke. Ultimately, the time between visits will boil down to your individual needs.
Dental health is critical, and brushing and flossing at home is vital, but it’s not enough to get rid of all the problems your teeth may face. If you need a teeth cleaning or other dental treatments, make an appointment today with Dr. Hawatmeh and Bravo Dental Group to keep your teeth healthy.