The Benefits of Professional Teeth Cleaning
Like many of us, you probably brush and floss your teeth religiously in pursuit of a gleaming, white smile. You may even use one of the teeth whitening toothpastes with extra cleaning power now widely available to polish your pearly whites.
After all that cleaning and scrubbing, why would you need professional teeth cleaning?
Because, no matter how diligently and vigorously you brush and floss, you will never be able to remove all of the harmful plaque and tartar that have built up on your teeth. To get rid of that build-up, you will need professional teeth cleaning from a dentist and dental hygienist.
Benefits of a Professional Clean and Polish
Professional teeth cleaning, which is sometimes referred to as prophylaxis, is intended to remove any excess scale (tartar, calcium deposits or calculus) and plaque (sticky film with bacteria) from your teeth, leaving them smooth, clean and polished.
By cleaning and polishing the surfaces of your teeth, the dentist is removing any rough and sticky areas along your gums, thereby preventing bacteria from attaching and growing there and causing gum disease.
Why Gum Disease Is Bad
Preventing gum disease is the number one reason to get professional teeth cleaning. Not only is gum disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease) associated with poor oral health and damaged teeth, it can lead to a host of other health problems as well.
The same bacteria that occur in gum disease have been linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes, among other illnesses. It is believed that bacterial byproducts in unhealthy gums can enter your bloodstream and trigger the liver to make proteins that cause inflammation, triggering negative effects throughout your system.
Schedule Regular Professional Cleanings
By following your dentist’s recommendation to get your teeth professionally cleaned every eight to 16 weeks, you are reducing your chances of getting gum disease, thereby improving your oral health and your overall health as well. Regular cleanings by a professional will also make it easier for you to maintain good dental hygiene at home between office visits.
Don’t let a past negative dental cleaning experience or a fear of the dentist deter you from getting regular professional cleanings. You can request that your dentist switches you to a gentle hygienist, or you can request a small dose of nitrous oxide to ease you through the process.
If you have sensitive teeth and gums and the cleaning process causes you discomfort, ask that some topical numbing gel is applied to your teeth and gums. Taking these steps can significantly improve your experience, and may encourage you to visit your dentist more frequently.