Health One Family Medicine

Preventing Tooth Decay: the benefits of a professional tooth cleaning

Tooth decay is caused by plaque, which is that sort of a film that develops on your teeth over time.  It is an acidic substance that slowly destroys the tooth enamel. If you do not take care of plaque in time, it could lead to cavities. It is recommended to get a professional tooth cleaning to keep your teeth healthy, here are some benefits of visiting your dentist:

It allows a brighter smile

No matter how much time you spend taking care of your teeth, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of yellowing and stains. These stains can be compounded by the usage of tobacco, or by drinking beverages like tea or coffee. Plus, there are some kinds of medications that cause discoloration of the teeth as well.

In such cases, you can visit your dentist, who will be able to remove these external stains by professionally cleaning your teeth. Not only will the dentist remove any offending plaque, but they will also polish your teeth to create a lovely shine. This should result in a brighter and whiter smile.

It prevents bad breath

Bad breath can be caused by a great many factors, including, but not limited to: gum disease, poor oral hygiene, bits of food stuck between the teeth, the surface of the tongue being coated, as well as throat infections. However, most of these conditions can be prevented by good oral hygiene, which can automatically lead to good breath. A professional cleaning can do a lot to help you maintain good oral hygiene and thus prevent bad breath.

It helps maintain your overall health

There is a lot of evidence that connects your oral health to your overall health. As mentioned above, recent research has linked strokes and heart attacks to gum disease. Getting your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist every six months can therefore possibly reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Plus, this combined with regular dental examinations can make your dentist your first health care provider to even diagnose a potentially significant health problem in its early stages.

So how often should you get your teeth cleaned by a professional?

Generally speaking, you should get your teeth professionally cleaned by a dentist twice a year when you visit for your regular check-up. However, it also depends on your own unique oral health. A relatively healthier patient might only need to see the dentist once a year for a cleaning, whereas a patient who has contracted a severe case of gum disease, for instance, may need to make a visit every three months, or even every other month if the case is particularly acute.

Similarly, you might need more frequent tooth cleaning if you have a weak immune system, smoke, are pregnant, have a tendency to form more plaque, have a family history of periodontal disease, or had suffered gum disease in the past.

Simply ask your dentist how often you need to get your teeth cleaned. The dentist will be able to consider your oral health and risk factors in order to suggest the right cleaning regimen for your unique needs.