Five Advantages of Regular Tooth-Cleaning Visits
According to the American Dental Association, you should have your teeth cleaned at least twice per year. Some people need checkups more often than this. Despite this recommendation, the ADA reports that almost 1/3 of Americans fail to visit the dentist even once a year. If this is you, learn a little more about the importance of professional tooth cleaning visits.
Brushing Your Teeth
When is the last time you brushed your teeth? Today? Yesterday? Several days ago? If you are like many Americans, you may not be brushing your teeth enough. There have been countless studies done on how often you should brush your teeth and how often people actually do brush their teeth. In many third-world countries, people don’t have the means or the knowledge that they need to brush their teeth. However, most Americans know that brushing your teeth is important somehow.
As mentioned, the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. Notice how we said, “at least”. This is a baseline recommendation, as you can brush your teeth more than this, such as after every meal or treat you have. However, you don’t ever want to dip below that twice-a-day guideline. Despite that recommendation, studies show that where young adults (also known as “millennials”) are concerned, at least 3 in 10 only brush their teeth once a day.
The average young adult has gone at least 2 days without brushing their teeth as well. Many don’t visit the dentist due to dental phobias or a distaste to dental products/flavors (about 6 in 10 people). However, visiting the dentist for a tooth cleaning and brushing your teeth on your own are some of the most important habits a person can have if they want a healthy mouth.
Give Yourself a Good Tooth Cleaning
Did you know that there are specific ways you should be brushing your teeth? You don’t simply wet a toothbrush and brush around in your mouth. Use these recommendations when you give yourself a tooth cleaning:
- Toothbrushes will come with bristles with various levels of hardness, so you want to look at the packaging for the word “soft”. Soft-bristled brushes will provide a good tooth cleaning without being too harsh on your tooth enamel.
- Use good toothpaste. A tooth cleaning isn’t complete without toothpaste. Look for ADA-approved toothpaste that is proven to help fight tooth decay. Also use toothpaste that has fluoride in it. Adults should use about a centimeter’s worth of toothpaste on their toothbrush.
- Wet your toothbrush either before or after you add toothpaste to the brush so it can suds up and clean your teeth better.
- As recommended by the ADA, brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes. That’s 1 minute for your bottom teeth and 1 minute for the top teeth. Brush every tooth surface in circular motions as well as side-to-side, making sure to get the top, back and front of every tooth.
- Give yourself a good tooth cleaning at least twice a day, if not more. This is especially important before you go to bed so bacteria doesn’t have all day to decay your teeth.
How a Dentist’s Tooth Cleaning Is Different
When you go to the dentist, your tooth cleaning will be different than what you get at home, which is a great thing. Your dentist and dental hygienist will both do a thorough examination of all your teeth and the soft tissues of the mouth. They will check for signs of oral cancer and gum disease, and will see if you have tooth decay by taking dental x-rays. Using probing tools on each tooth can also detect areas of decay that are sensitive.
A dental hygienist will perform your tooth cleaning and will use a metal tool to scrape particles off your teeth, especially your back molars. They can see things that you can’t and can clean each individual tooth immaculately. A hygienist will remove tartar and plaque from each tooth. Using a slow-speed dental brush, they will brush all your tooth surfaces with professional-grade toothpaste and will polish your teeth afterwards. You will also have every single tooth flossed several times to remove particles, and to find areas of gum disease. After 30-40 minutes of a thorough tooth cleaning, you will receive a fluoride treatment, which will strengthen your teeth against tooth decay.
5 Advantages of Regular Tooth Cleaning Visits
You can never go wrong taking care of your oral health or overall health. Patients only benefit if they take care of themselves. When it comes to tooth cleaning visits, you benefit through:
- A dental professional examining every individual tooth, making sure decay isn’t present.
- A thorough tooth cleaning, where plaque and hard, stuck-on tartar are removed that you can’t get off your teeth at home.
- Proper instructions of how you can give yourself a better tooth cleaning at home. Dentists and hygienists always go over your tooth health and tips for cleaning your teeth better to keep them healthy.
- Avoiding chronic oral health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer, that can damage your overall health as well.
- Saving money. If you brush and floss at home as you should and visit the dentist twice a year, you actually save a ton of money in the long run. How? You will likely avoid all major oral health problems that can only be fixed with expensive, lengthy procedures.
Your Tooth Cleaning
Whether you’re 8 or 80 years old, dental health is important for everyone. Brushing and flossing every day certainly tops the list of ways you can take care of your teeth, but regular cleanings at our office are also vital for good oral health. If you haven’t had your tooth cleaning in some time, make sure to call Dr. Ania’s office at (303) 872-9940 to schedule your appointment!