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How often should I have my teeth professionally cleaned?

Maintaining a good dental hygiene regimen is an important factor in keeping our teeth and gums healthy and strong. Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with a good mouthwash, allied with twice-yearly visits to the dentist, all help to ensure good oral health and protect our teeth and mouth against tooth cavities, bad breath, gum disease and other oral-related problems.

Normal brushing and flossing can help to remove plaque from the surface of our teeth, and dislodge trapped food debris that can decay and cause bad breath. However, areas of the mouth can be improperly cleaned, or missed altogether, allowing plaque to collect and harden into tartar, which can build up and encroach below the gums.

Left untreated, the build up of plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of the gum tissue and eventually loss of jaw bone that together surround and support the teeth. These conditions can be difficult to treat once developed, and can lead to tooth loss. Plaque has even been attributed to health issues in other parts of the body, such as heart disease.

Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with a good mouthwash, allied with twice-yearly visits to the dentist, all help to ensure good oral health and protect our teeth and mouth against tooth cavities, bad breath, gum disease and other oral-related problems.

Professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist is recommended during each check-up in order to address and remove tartar, which is impervious to normal brushing, and is a leading cause of gum disease. The dentist or hygienist uses a range of instruments to loosen and remove the plaque deposits and tartar in a process called ‘debridement’.

This process also aids in enhancing the appearance of the teeth, as not only is the harmful plaque removed, but superficial stains that appear on the surface of the teeth through the consumption of dark foods and liquids can often be polished out, leaving a cleaner looking, more attractive smile.

Dental cleaning is a painless process, although those with pre-existing gum disease or periodontal disease may experience some sensitivity during cleaning. The dentist may apply some topical numbing gel or a local anaesthetic prior to cleaning in order to alleviate these sensations.

The benefits of professional cleaning, however, can’t be underestimated. Not only does the process help to preserve the patient’s dental health, but also leaves the smile looking cleaner and more attractive. Typically carried out at each dental check-up, professional cleaning may be recommended at more regular intervals depending on the patient’s own dental hygiene habits.

Contact the office of Darren K. Dickson, DDS, today to schedule your next dental exam and professional cleaning.

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