Are Dental Cleanings Necessary?

It is no secret that many people don’t enjoy going to the dentist. Keeping track of your appointments or getting your children to the dentist can feel like a hassle as well. It can be even more difficult to get yourself to your appointments if you experience dental anxiety or fear.

You might think that your trips to the dentist are more trouble than they’re worth, especially if you feel that you already have good oral hygiene. So you may be wondering: are dental cleanings actually necessary?

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Dental Cleanings Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Your dental appointment will begin with a physical exam to check your teeth and mouth for signs of issues like cavities or gingivitis—inflamed gums. After your exam, a dental hygienist will proceed with your teeth cleaning. This involves scraping your teeth to remove plaque (a sticky substance that coats teeth and traps bacteria) or tartar (hardened, calcified plaque).

Removing plaque will prevent cavities or tooth decay from forming. When plaque remains on your teeth, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Over time, this can eat away at the enamel on your teeth and cause cavities, decay, or even infections. Dentists remove all of the plaque on your teeth during your dental cleaning, which will keep your teeth healthy.

Oral Health Links to Overall Body Health

A lot of people are not aware of how important oral health is to your body. Your mouth is teeming with bacteria, which are mostly non-threatening, but poor dental hygiene can increase the number of harmful bacteria that can lead to numerous issues.

Many diseases and illnesses have a connection to poor oral health, such as heart disease, strokes, or clogged arteries. Poor oral health can also lead to low birth weight or even premature birth.

Poor dental hygiene aggravates certain medical conditions. Patients who are immunocompromised or have a reduced ability to fight off infections are more susceptible to gum disease or tooth decay. Examples of diseases affected by poor oral health include diabetes, HIV or AIDS, osteoporosis, and some cancers.

Patients Are More Likely to Avoid Costly Procedures

When you go to the dentist regularly, you are helping yourself avoid painful and costly procedures. Your dentist will take regular x-rays of your teeth and mouth, so if you have any problems developing, your dentist will be able to spot them even before you have symptoms arise.

For example, if you have a cavity, you may not feel the pain from it until the decay has progressed. Once your tooth has begun to decay, you might end up needing a root canal if it is not caught early enough.

The better you take care of your teeth, the better off your body and wallet will be. Attending your dental cleanings will be more of a benefit to you in the long run.