As admirable as it is that you take good care of your teeth, your dentist and the Canadian Dental Association recommend you schedule two cleanings per year. While you might think that doesn’t apply to you because you brush your teeth twice a day and floss like you’re supposed to, your diligence still isn’t enough to remove the plaque and hardened calculus that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. So, while you should be congratulated for your excellent oral hygiene regime, here’s why you still need two cleanings per year.
Two Cleanings Per Year And Check-Ups Offer Preventative Care
We like to think of your brushing and flossing at home as the important maintenance required to help support the professional cleanings provided by our team. The reason we look at it that way is that your brushing and flossing help reduce plaque build-up, while our professional dental cleanings actually remove it. The problem with plaque is that it is sneaky and finds ways to cling to teeth in areas your toothbrush and floss can’t reach. This allows it to harden and turn into calculus, something your toothbrush can’t remove no matter how often you brush.
Plaque is yellow and softer, so you can tackle it to an extent by brushing and flossing. But once it hardens it takes the special tools our team uses to remove it. Plaque is a mess of bacteria, most of which isn’t good. It attacks your enamel, and if left there can cause tooth decay and cavities. Plaque yellows your teeth and takes away from your smile, while also filling your mouth with bacteria that feed on food debris after you eat.
Our professional cleanings remove plaque, providing a smooth surface for you to then keep clean with your daily oral hygiene regime. Within six months or so, however, that plaque is back. So it takes a one-two punch of two cleanings per year plus your home dental care to keep that plaque from causing tooth decay and gum disease.
Dental Check-Ups Are Budget-Friendly
It’s not uncommon to avoid dental cleanings due to the cost. However, your check-ups and cleanings are by far the more budget-friendly option when it comes to dental treatments. Two cleanings per year provide preventative care that helps you avoid more costly treatments like deep procedures for gum disease or restorations like fillings or root canals due to tooth decay. While you might pay a few hundred over the year for check-ups and cleanings, your dental costs can skyrocket from there once you need to contend with treatments for periodontal disease.
And let’s not forget the cosmetic side of things. It costs money to get your smile looking its best. You can avoid the need for expensive whitening to remove stains and plaque you’ve allowed to accumulate from missing your two cleanings per year. So in the long run, if cost is your concern, dental cleanings are much more cost-effective.
Pain-Free Dental Solution
Healthy teeth and gums are pain-free. For the most part, cleanings for healthy teeth and gums are also pain-free. If you are worried about discomfort or pain at your cleanings, speak to our team. We do everything in our power to keep you comfortable at your dental visits. In fact, the best way to avoid dental pain is to follow our advice and book your cleanings twice a year. Your cleanings optimize oral health so you avoid cavities and gum disease that can lead to pain. The deeper the decay, the closer it gets to the sensitive inner layer of your teeth.
Also, if you allow gum disease to set in, it causes pain as your gums separate from your teeth. This exposes the sensitive area your gums protect, leading to severe sensitivity. All in all, your dental cleanings are your pain-free dental solution for keeping your teeth and gums healthy and reducing the risk of painful issues developing.
Whole Body Health
Your dental health is directly related to your overall health. In fact, if you suffer from underlying health issues such as heart conditions or diabetes you are at higher risk for gum disease – and vice versa. As a result, you should be sticking to your two cleanings per year so we can assess your mouth and make recommendations to ensure your gums stay healthy.
Other issues that can make you more vulnerable to tooth decay or gum disease include taking medications that can cause dry mouth. When your mouth is dry you don’t have enough saliva to wash away bacteria and food particles that can cause plaque build-up, gum disease and tooth decay. Always think of your oral health as an important element of your whole body health.
Meeting Your Specific Needs
While the two cleanings per year plan works for many people, there are other factors at play when it comes to oral health. As a result, we use your cleaning and check-up appointments to assess your oral health so we can make recommendations related to your specific needs. Your habits and overall health impact the frequency of your cleaning intervals. Some of the factors that can increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease include:
- The type of toothpaste you use
- If you have a 4mm “pocket” or more at check-ups
- Your snacking habits
- If you experience bleeding gums when brushing and flossing
- Whether you have underlying health issues like diabetes or heart conditions
- How often you brush and floss
- Your current cleaning and check-up habits
- How often we find cavities or tooth decay at your check-ups
- Whether you smoke or use tobacco
- How often you drink alcohol
- The types of medications you take
We use these factors when considering how often you should schedule your cleanings. While some patients might need to come as often as every two months, others might get away with seeing us just once a year. The good news is that if you do need more frequent visits, as your oral health improves, your schedule should naturally start to see longer and longer intervals between appointments.
Let’s not forget your smile. When you have your two cleanings per year, we remove plaque and provide polishing to help keep your smile white and bright.