There are few things more nerve-wracking than a dental visit. Cleaning, drilling, and scraping—it’s all pretty scary stuff! But as much as we might hate it, going to the dentist is one of the most important things we can do for our oral health. Cleanings may not be fun, but they are essential to a healthy mouth.
Beyond their aesthetic value, regular cleanings help prevent cavities from forming and catch minor problems before they become major. If you’re feeling nervous about your upcoming cleaning or want to know more about why it’s so important to prevent cavities and gingivitis, read on for everything you need to know about dental cleanings.
ADA Recommended Cleanings
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that adults have dental cleanings every six months. The ADA also recommends dental cleanings for anyone with gum disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, or heart disease. Dental cleanings are a little different for children.
The ADA recommends that kids get their first dental cleaning and dental visit around their first birthday. At that point, the dentist will perform a general exam and ensure their teeth are growing correctly. From there, the ADA recommends that kids get a dental cleaning every six months until they’re 16.
Why Are Dental Services Necessary?
Dental services are necessary because bacteria cannot be eradicated. It takes just a small amount of plaque missed by toothbrush bristles and dental floss to grow into an enormous amount of plaque or even develop into gum disease. The gums are the pink tissue around your teeth and have an essential function in your mouth.
They support the teeth, help keep food out of the bloodstream, and help you speak clearly. If your gums are unhealthy, they can’t do them very well. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is one of the most common bacterial infections in people’s mouths.
It can be severe if it’s not diagnosed and treated early. The bacteria that cause gum disease are the same types that cause cavities. The best way to avoid both diseases is to practice excellent oral hygiene.
The Benefits of Professional Teeth Cleaning
A dental hygienist does professional teeth cleaning after your dentist has examined your teeth and given you a written teeth cleaning plan. The hygienist cleans your teeth using one of three methods: the first two involve either a high-speed rotary brush or a small sonic tip.
The sonic tip is a gentle instrument that vibrates water and cleaning solution against the teeth. The third method is the traditional “scraping” of the teeth with rubber-tipped picks.
The most effective way to clean teeth is with a rotary-brush cleaner because it covers every surface. Teeth cleaning with an ordinary toothbrush only cleans the front, tops, and back teeth.
What Do Teeth Cleaning Visits Provide?
A dental cleaning thoroughly combines cleaning your teeth and gums with an oral cancer screening. This can be done by either a dental hygienist or a dentist. The cleaning will remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from your teeth, which can cause cavities and gum disease if not removed.
It will also help you keep your teeth for longer by preventing more serious issues like tooth loss. If you are worried about having cavities, your dentist or dental hygienist will likely recommend a fluoride treatment.
This is a quick application of fluoride varnish that can fill in small cavities that are too small to fill with a traditional filling.
What to Expect at Your Next Dental Visit
Dental cleaning will likely include meticulous cleaning and polishing of teeth and gums. It may also include a thorough assessment of the overall health of your teeth, gums, and mouth. Your dentist will use dental instruments such as probes, mirrors, and lasers to examine the interior of your teeth and gums for any signs of disease or decay.
The dentist may also take saliva samples to test for signs of disease. If you have a lot of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, your dentist will likely recommend teeth cleaning. If you have gum disease and your gums appear red and swollen, your dentist will likely recommend more invasive treatment.
A Dental Cleaning and Exam Can Improve Your Wellness
Over time, the bacteria that cause gum disease can travel through your bloodstream and lead to many serious health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. While the link between dental health and other health problems is well documented, many people still don’t take the importance of dental health seriously.
A regular dental cleaning can help prevent gum disease and keep all these health issues at bay. A dental cleaning and oral health exam are recommended yearly or every six months if you have gum disease. This can reduce your risk of severe dental health issues and improve your overall health.
How the Condition of Your Teeth Affects Your Body
Bacterial build-up in the gums and teeth is similar to the bacterial build-up that occurs inside the rest of the body. This can lead to a condition called “oral infections” that can enter the bloodstream. The bacteria in the mouth can travel to the heart, brain, and joints, causing infectious diseases.
Infected gums can also make it harder to control blood sugar in people with diabetes. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have gum disease as people without diabetes. This is because the disease can cause changes in the way your body works, including changes in the way your body fights infection or heals itself.
Even if you don’t have diabetes, poor oral health can have serious health consequences, including heart disease and stroke.
The Next Part of Your Visit: The Dental Exam
The dentist will use various tools to examine your teeth, gums, and mouth health. Some of the tools may be hand-held mirrors, special lights, and probes and picks that are used to scrape away plaque and tartar buildup.
If you have significant periodontal disease, your dentist may take a tissue sample from your gums and send it to a lab for diagnosis. If you have diabetes, your dentist will likely test for signs of gum disease. If you are at risk for oral cancer, your dentist will take another sample, called a biopsy, for further testing.
Contact Mountain View Dental for your dental cleaning.
If you’re ready to book your next dental cleaning, give Mountain View Dental a call. Our team of dentists and dental team members will be happy to help you prepare for your visit, answer any questions you have, and make sure you feel comfortable at your appointment.
All you have to do is call us at (770) 429-8989. We’re open six days a week, including weekends. You can also book your appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!