If you want to minimize visits to the dentist, there are two appointments you must make and keep every year. Semi-annual dental cleanings allow a skilled hygienist to examine your mouth for signs of gum disease, clean and polish your teeth, and talk to you about areas where you can improve.
Importance of Dental Cleanings
The significance of cleanings with a hygienist can't be overstated. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in US adults over the age of 30. This bacterial infection attacks the structures that support your teeth such as gum tissue, ligaments, and bone.
Typical signs include tender, inflamed, or swollen gums and bleeding when you brush; however, many people who have gum disease see no symptoms at all. This is why visiting a professional every six months for dental cleanings is essential.
Steps to a Dental Cleaning
Most dental cleanings are straightforward and involve four steps:
- Remove plaque and tartar – Your hygienist uses an instrument called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar between your teeth and along your gumline. Even if you brush and floss conscientiously at home, you can't reach all surfaces, and plaque eventually turns into a hard substance that can only be removed by a hygienist.
- Expert flossing – If you know you're flossing thoroughly, this step may seem unnecessary. But your hygienist can remove plaque from hard-to-reach places and also note any problems.
- High-powered tooth polishing – Next, your hygienist uses a gritty toothpaste and a high-powered electric brush to clean all surfaces of your teeth thoroughly.
- Patient education – During these visits is the perfect time to ask any questions you have about brushing and flossing, diet, or oral health concerns.
Is It Time for Your Next Cleaning?
Top Summerville, SC dentist Dr. Thomas Riley and our team want you to enjoy the benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile. If it's time for your next cleaning or you just have questions, please call Azalea Dental!