Why Dental Cleanings Are Important
Dental cleanings are crucial to prevent plaque and tartar buildup that accumulates when left behind food particles mix with your saliva. Plaque is a bacterial film that sticks to the teeth and produces acids that attack your enamel, leading to cavities.
Within 72 hours, if plaque isn’t removed, it hardens into tartar. At this point, you need to go to a professional dental cleaning to have it removed. Tartar can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing at home. Plaque causes tooth decay which can lead to tooth loss.
Tartar causes gum inflammation that leads to gum disease. Even if you are persistent about properly brushing and flossing your teeth every day, you can’t skimp out on your bi-annual cleanings.
Even people who are the most vigilant about their oral hygiene can’t remove all food particles and plaque in their mouth. That’s what the professionals are for! Our South Philly dentists use specialized instruments for precise scaling that rids your mouth of bacteria and polishes your teeth so they look whiter and your breath smells fresher.
The Importance of Preventive Dental Care
Preventative dental care preserves your healthy hard and soft tissues to keep oral health problems at bay. Dental sealants, cleanings, and fluoride treatments all prevent cavities from forming and keep your teeth healthy, strong, and resistant to acid attacks.
Oral exams, x-rays, and oral cancer screenings are all tools for early detection that help us spot warning signs of serious conditions like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings have been shown to reduce mortality rates in patients who are at high risk for developing it.
Oral cancer is reversible in the early stages which is why it’s so crucial to monitor your oral health and look for any abnormal lesions and send them out for lab testing. Gum disease can also destroy the supporting tissues that hold your teeth in place, eventually causing tooth loss and irreversible bone loss.
Once you develop periodontitis, this causes permanent damage. Prevention and early detection preserve your oral health and save you lots of time and money on invasive treatments.
What to Expect At Your Dental Cleaning Appointment
Patients with dental anxiety will be offered the ability to be sedated, though the cleaning process is painless and minimally invasive. One of our dentists will begin by using a scaling tool to scrape away plaque and tartar from above the gum line.
Then, we will polish all of your teeth which will brighten them up by removing food particles and stains. This is done with gritty toothpaste and an electric toothbrush. Your teeth will then be flossed and you can rinse before we apply a fluoride varnish to your teeth to remineralize them and prevent cavities.
Tips to Keep Your Smile Healthy
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
- Limit your consumption of sugar and acids
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
- Only use a soft bristle toothbrush
- Brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth
- Floss once a day
- Attend dental cleanings every 6 months
- Stimulate saliva flow with sugar-free gum
Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning
Contact us at Mestichelli Barnes Dental Associates today to schedule a dental cleaning with Dr. Mestichelli or Dr. Barnes.