It is essential to make sure you see your dental hygienist regularly for dental cleanings. You are likely on a 3-6 month recall, depending on your individual needs. Six-month cleanings are recommended for patients who have stable, healthy gums and brush and floss thoroughly at home. 3-4 month cleanings are recommended for patients who have or have had gum disease, bleeding gums, recession and any other higher risk considerations. Discuss with your dental hygienist what frequency will work best for you.
During a dental cleaning, bacteria is removed from your teeth using a variety of different tools. Bacteria accumulate from the foods and drinks you consume and releases acid, which can cause cavities and gum issues. When plaque sits on your teeth for several days without being brushed or flossed away, it begins to mineralize and hardens onto your teeth as calculus, also called “tartar.” Once calculus accumulates on your teeth, it is impossible to remove with a toothbrush or dental floss and begins causing damage to your gums. Also, during a dental cleaning, your gums and teeth will be assessed for health. Attention will be given to any concerns with your teeth, gums, oral and overall health.
Professional dental cleanings are essential because your dental hygienist will remove bacteria from your teeth and gums in the form of plaque and calculus. Often, nooks and crannies of your teeth are difficult to access with just a toothbrush and floss at home and require professional tools to access and clean away. If you miss your dental cleanings, this bacteria is left to accumulate in more substantial amounts and can result in cavities and gum disease. The more bacteria accumulation on your gums, the more damage that occurs to your gums. Missing your dental cleanings can result in cavities, bad breath, bleeding gums, gingivitis, infections and loose teeth. It is essential to visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly.