What To Expect When You Go For A Teeth Cleaning

Oral hygiene is an important part of our overall health. Poor dental health has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke (via Cleveland Clinic). The same bacteria that cause gum disease can travel to your heart and spread from there. Regular visits to your dentist are a key part of good dental hygiene and these visits can help with early disease detection. Consistent care is the key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums, which includes brushing and flossing every day, as well as scheduling yearly teeth cleanings.

A teeth cleaning allows your dentist to professionally clean your teeth and check for signs of health issues (via Verywell Health). During the exam, your dentist will use a mirror to check for cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. They will then use professional tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup, which is common even in the cleanest mouths. However, this cannot be removed effectively at home, so it is important to visit your dentist regularly in order to have it removed. Your dentist will also brush and floss your teeth thoroughly to make sure they are clean and shiny. Most dentists will finish the exam by applying a fluoride solution to your teeth. Fluoride keeps your enamel strong and helps prevent future cavities.

Common dental problems that regular cleanings can help you avoid

The most common dental problem that most people think of is a cavity. Over 90% of adults experience at least one cavity in their lifetime (via CDC). Cavities happen when the tooth enamel breaks down from sitting bacteria. This bacteria is most commonly caused by foods and drinks high in sugar and other carbohydrates, like soda, candy, and white starches (via Mayo Clinic). Although some cavities are reversible, most need to be filled by a dentist. Untreated cavities can lead to infection and severe pain. You can prevent this condition by performing basic oral hygiene techniques like daily brushing and flossing and regular visits to the dentist. Drinking fluoridated water can help your tooth enamel stay strong and resistant to decay.

Gum disease is another common dental problem. There are two main types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis (via WebMD). Gingivitis happens when the gums become inflamed after a bacterial infection. When food and plaque get stuck in the spaces between the teeth and gums, it can lead to infection. Other risk factors include diabetes, genetics, and tobacco use. When gingivitis is left untreated, a more serious infection called periodontitis can develop. This can cause the gums to separate from the teeth and leave the soft tissue and bone underneath exposed to harm. You can avoid gum disease by brushing and flossing daily. An antibacterial mouthwash can also keep infection at bay.