Dr. Michael Handler

4 Reasons to Have Regular Professional Teeth Cleaning

By Dr. Michael Handler

If you have reasonably good daily oral hygiene habits and a healthy mouth, your dentist or dental hygienist will probably recommend professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. Most dental insurance policies cover two cleanings per year, but few people take full advantage of their benefits and actually get it done that often. The suggested frequency isn’t just so the dentist can make money out of you; there are very good health reasons behind it.

Reason #1: The Rapid Return of Plaque

A professional teeth cleaning removes the bacteria that cause plaque to build up in your mouth, but it doesn’t do anything to stop the production of plaque.  That means within 24 to 48 hours you start collecting plaque again, and, within a few days, it hardens and becomes tartar. Regardless of how good your oral health regimen, it’s inevitable that some plaque will form before six months have passed.

The longer it stays there, the harder it gets and the more of it calcifies onto your teeth. At this stage, it becomes impossible to remove yourself, and the only way to get rid of it is with the special tools of your dental hygienist.  By getting your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice a year, you run less risk of developing heavy buildup that can affect your health.

Reason #2: It Comes with an Exam

Getting regular dental checkups is important, to keep your mouth, teeth and gums in good shape and to make sure you don’t show any signs of tooth decay. Each time you get a professional teeth cleaning it’s an opportunity for your dentist or dental hygienist to examine your mouth. If they see anything that causes concern, they will recommend scheduling a separate appointment to look into it. Why wait until you have cavities or gum infections before you get the medical attention you need? By going for regular cleanings, you can keep an eye on your oral health and address issues as they arise.

Reason #3: Cleanings Provide an Early Warning System

Getting a dental checkup and thorough professional teeth cleaning is one of the best ways to check for early warning signs of more serious oral health concerns. Gum disease has close links to cardiovascular disease and other systemic complaints, while oral cancer, receding gums, anemia and other problems often have oral symptoms that can be the first indication of the problem.

Catching these signs early can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer and even compromised organs like your kidneys and liver, which can be affected by poor oral health. For patients at risk of any of these conditions, your dentist might recommend scaling and root planing followed by professional cleanings more often than twice a year. Consulting a dental hygienist two to four times a year is not uncommon.

Reason #4: Maintain Freshness of Breath

Last but not least, regular professional teeth cleaning and all its benefits help to keep your breath fresh. Unless you plan to become an online hermit and never mingle with people again in person, you want to put your best foot forward whenever you’re out and about in public. Halitosis is a problem affecting 25% of the global population, and Canada is no exception. It’s also the third most common reason people look for dental care, after tooth decay and gum disease. Lifestyle changes such as better dental hygiene and stopping smoking can help to improve your breath, but there’s little to compare with a healthy mouth full of clean, sparkling, plaque- and cavity-free teeth.

For more information on how professional teeth cleanings affect your overall health, please schedule an appointment with our dentist in Scarborough at 416-267-4661, or click here to book online.

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