How many times do you brush and floss your teeth in a day? Hopefully, most people would answer at least twice, sometimes more. Yet, how many times do you visit your dentist for a regular oral exam and dental cleaning?
Your dentist and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend regular dental visits at least once every six months, or more often if your oral health is at risk. If you skip your checkup and cleaning appointment, you may expose your smile to more risks, including cavity and gum disease development.
Fighting Against Oral Bacteria
Much like brushing and flossing your teeth, professional dental cleanings are an ongoing battle against oral bacteria. Specifically, the ones responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. Aside from these, there are over 600 different identifiable kinds of oral bacteria, and while not all of them are harmful, enough of them are to make their presence a threat.
As mouth germs accumulate, they form dental plaque to protect them from your mouth’s defenses, like saliva. If plaque is allowed to remain on your teeth and gums long enough, it calcifies (hardens) into tartar, which cannot be removed with toothpaste and water.
A Cleaning and Closer Look
At your six-month dental checkup and cleaning, your hygienist will thoroughly remove all traces of plaque, tartar, and oral bacteria, especially from underneath your gum line. A comprehensive examination of your teeth, gums, and jawbone, will help your dentist detect early signs of trouble and suggest an appropriate treatment plan to minimize dental damage or disease.