Visiting the dentist is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Your mouth and the rest of your body will thank you. Poor oral hygiene has been linked to various other problems like diabetes, heart attacks and dementia.
Each routine dental visit consists of two parts: the cleaning and the check-up. Professional dental cleaning is important because it removes tartar buildup on your teeth, which no amount of brushing and flossing at home can do. Tartar begins as plaque, a sticky and clear film of bacteria on your teeth. When it hardens, it becomes tartar and can contribute to oral diseases.
Steps of professional dental cleaning include:
- Scaling – Tartar is removed from your teeth with the help of special tools.
- Polishing – Most often, teeth are polished with a gritty paste that helps reduce staining.
- Flossing – Floss cleans in-between teeth in areas other tools can’t reach.
Areas your dentist will check:
- Teeth – Your dentist will check your teeth for cavities visually and may also use x-ray technology to look for cavities that are not visible.
- Gums – A special tool allows your dentist to gauge the spaces between your gums and your teeth. Large or increasing spaces can be an indicator that your gums are not healthy.
Your dentist will also look at your head, face, neck, throat and tongue for any potential problems, including cancer.
Visiting the dentist twice a year is important, but so is a regular routine of oral hygiene at home. To maintain healthy teeth and gums between visits, brush two times each day with fluoride toothpaste, floss at least one time each day, and use mouthwash to decrease oral bacteria and improve breath.