The dental industry raked in $138 billion in revenues this year. And considering all the work they do to keep our mouths clean and smiles bright, it’s no wonder.
Getting your teeth cleaned is pretty important. But how often should you get your teeth cleaned? Does that age-old adage about seeing your dentist twice a year still hold?
Well, we’re answering those questions and more for your today with this handy dandy guide. Ready to learn everything you ever wanted to know about getting your teeth cleaned? Keep reading for the low down.
Why You Should Get Your Teeth Cleaned
You may know how important it is to get your teeth cleaned. But what you may not understand is why cleanings are so important. Let’s discuss three of the top reasons twice or more a year visits to your local dentist are so vital.
Toothaches and Pains
Have a tooth that’s been bothering you? Whether it’s a wisdom tooth or a cavity, dental cleanings can help treat the cause– bacteria. What’s more, regular cleanings can help the problem from getting worse, especially when you start getting regular cleanings young.
When you let toothaches and pains go untreated, you may start to notice the signs of tooth decay. These include discoloration, sensitivity to hot and cold foods or drinks, and visible holes in your teeth.
If you wait until the decay has worsened to see a dentist, you’re more likely to need expensive surgeries (i.e., a root canal) to fix the problem. And failing to address this issue at all could lead to tooth loss.
Believe it or not, failing to get your teeth cleaned regularly is highly correlated with tooth loss. Losing teeth isn’t just devastating, it’s also expensive since dentures, crowns, and prosthetic teeth are so expensive these days. Why not prevent tooth loss altogether by seeing a dentist for twice-yearly cleanings.
How Often Should You Get Your Teeth Cleaned?
You’ve heard it before: you need to get your teeth cleaned twice yearly. But did you know that recommendation only applies to people with good oral hygiene? People who don’t brush and floss often will likely need to visit the dentist more often.
Why? Because even though a cleaning removes the bacteria built up in your teeth and gums, that bacteria starts to return. And some research suggests it can return as early as 24 to 48 hours post-cleaning.
Even worse, forgoing cleanings altogether can cause dangerous buildup of this bacteria in your mouth. The buildup then goes through a process called calcification. And once this happens, brushing and flossing alone won’t remove all that junk.
So, what’s the bottom line? Twice yearly or more cleanings are absolutely vital to keep your mouth healthy and prevent future tooth loss. To determine how often you should get your teeth cleaned, consult a dentist or dental hygienist near you.
5 Signs That it’s Time for Cleaning
Now that you know how often you should get your teeth cleaned, you’re probably wondering: what are the signs I should look out for to know when I need to head in for a visit? One of the first signs of harmful bacteria buildup is toothaches and pains.
Here are 5 more things to look out for that mean you need to get your teeth cleaned.
1. Visible Tartar Buildup
When bacteria isn’t thoroughly cleaned off your teeth, it calcifies. And when this happens, you can see the visible signs via tartar. Tartar is a hard white substance that’s usually visible on the parts of your teeth nearest your gums.
Though frequent brushing and flossing can prevent its buildup, there’s nothing you can do to get rid of tartar at home. That’s why this is one of the first signs that you need to get a dental cleaning.
2. Bad Breath
Did you know that bad breath is caused by a chemical reaction between your saliva and nasty bacteria on your teeth? When these two substances mix together, a stinky gas is released from your mouth. You’ll notice that this smell persists even after brushing and leaves a nasty taste in your mouth.
Yes, bad breath is also caused by medications, infections, and other more severe health conditions. But if your doctor rules these conditions out, one of the simplest and easiest treatments for bad breath is a simple cleaning.
3. Bleeding after Brushing or Flossing
Bacteria buildup doesn’t just cause tartar. It also leads to more serious issues like gingivitis, AKA gum disease. Though the next sign on our list is one symptom of gum disease, we’re talking first about bleeding gums. That’s because bleeding after brushing or flossing is one of the earliest signs of gingivitis.
Nearly half of people aged over 30 years experience some form of gum disease. So if you think you may have gingivitis, you’re in good company. And the other good thing is that, if caught early, gingivitis can sometimes be reversed before it leads to more severe problems.
4. Red or Inflamed Gums
Another sign of gum disease is red gums with inflamed patches. Inflammation of your gums will give them a puffy appearance. If you run your tongue over your gums and feel soft or squishy bumps, that’s a sign it’s time to head in for a cleaning.
5. It’s Been a While
So, you think your teeth and gums look great. There are no visible signs of bacteria buildup or decay. That means you don’t have to go in for your twice-yearly cleanings, right?
Wrong! Everyone needs their teeth cleaned at least once a year, preferably twice a year to keep your mouth and smile in great shape. And trust us, you’ll thank your dentist later when you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars for root canals and other pricey corrective surgeries.
Dental Cleanings in Brooklyn, NY
You know the answer to the question: how often should you get your teeth cleaned? But now what? To keep your smile in tip-top shape, you need to schedule a cleaning now.
Are you looking for a dentist near you in Brooklyn, New York? Then head over to LaSante Health Center’s brand new dentistry department for a cleaning. Request an appointment today and say hello to a beautiful new smile!