Although you likely brush your teeth twice a day, and hopefully floss regularly, you should visit your dentist twice a year for an annual dental exam and teeth cleaning. It’s simply not enough to brush your teeth, which removes plaque, you need a deeper cleaning and examination with a dentist.
Brushing your teeth after every meal—or at least twice a day—will help remove plaque from your teeth. But many people don’t brush long enough every day. According to the National Library of Medicine, most people brush their teeth for only 45 seconds. It’s recommended to brush for at least two minutes (longer if possible) as longer brushing time increases the amount of plaque removed. However, it is still necessary to have professional teeth cleaning twice per year.
Plaque removal is essential for healthy teeth and gums. The dental hygienist will use a scaler, which is a special tool used to scrape plaque off your teeth. The scaler will help remove plaque from hard-to-reach places where even flossing doesn’t reach. The dental hygienist will also be able to remove the plaque from around your gums, where it tends to accumulate.
When plaque hardens, it turns into tartar, which is much harder to remove than plaque and is yellow or brown in color. A dental hygienist will also use the scaler to scrape the tartar off your teeth. If tartar isn’t removed, it can lead to gum disease.
After the initial scraping for plaque and tartar removal, the hygienist will polish your teeth with a slightly abrasive paste to remove more plaque and tartar. After tooth polishing, the hygienist will finish up by flossing your teeth. These steps all combined will remove excess plaque and tartar and will help prevent gum disease.
In addition to preventing cavities, bi-annual cleaning helps prevent and monitor gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can cause your gums to recede, which leads to tooth loss. Gum disease can also cause bad breath and bone loss.
If you’re looking for a dentist for your annual exams and cleanings, contact Reflection Ridge Dental. Our team of friendly and compassionate hygienists and dentists would love to help you keep your smile healthy. If you’re already a patient with our office, make sure you’re on our schedule for your next cleaning when it comes due, or sooner if you’re having any issues. We look forward to caring for your teeth.