When people picture medieval times, they imagine people with mouths full of missing or rotten teeth. Contrary to popular belief, though, medieval folks were quite conscious about their oral health. This just goes to show that even in a time without dentistry, people realized the importance of dental cleaning.

While it is invaluable to brush regularly and floss, dental cleanings are a must. Even if you have the best tooth cleaning routine in the world, you still need regular appointments with your dentists in Lexington. The question is though, why are these cleanings so important, and how often should you go?

In this guide, we’ll give you five things you should know about dental cleanings.

1. You Should Schedule a Dental Cleaning Twice a Year

Generally speaking, experts recommend that everyone visit the dentist twice per year. You can schedule more or less often as your needs require. However, we don’t advise going for too long between appointments.

Although the primary focus is dental cleaning, think of this as physical. Everyone needs a physical examination about once per year from their general physician. This allows your physician to keep track of your overall health over the course of your life.

The same is true for your oral health. A lot can change in the span of six months with your teeth. Your needs will change as time goes on, and a dentist can identify what those needs are.

2. Dental Cleaning Is Better than Regular Brushing

Lexington dentists can give you the best cleaning job possible. They have a full suite of tools dedicated to this task, after all. Can you get the back of your teeth with a mirror and scraper?

Take for example when a dentist uses picks to clean your teeth. They do so to scrape off plaque, which can lead to tooth decay. They often work on crevices between teeth, which you can’t access well with the average toothbrush.

Dentist-Grade Cleaning

Dentistry tools are a step above consumer-grade toothbrushes and toothpaste. There’s a reason why your mouth feels noticeably cleaner after a dental cleaning compared to one at home.

Think of it like the difference between an at-home car wash and a deluxe, professional one. Doing an at-home car wash is a great way to save money, but from time to time your vehicle benefits from nice waxing and buffing.

At the end of the day, everyone enjoys the especially clean feeling they get after an appointment. If for no other reason, schedule your dental cleanings to enjoy your teeth at their best.

3. It Helps With Prevention

The regularity of these visits isn’t just for cleaning. It’s for prevention. It’s important for your dentist to have a consistent view of your oral health.

Many cavities can start out small. You may not notice that they are forming, especially if they are in hard-to-reach places. They grow slowly over time until they reach critical mass and require serious intervention.

The Benefit of Regular Visits

If you have regular dentist visits, though, a dentist can spot cavities ahead of time. It’s much easier to deal with a small one before it has consumed a large portion of the tooth. 

Dentists have access to tools that can spot issues–not just cavities–that aren’t visible. There’s a reason they take an updated X-ray during each of your appointments.

Some procedures will be more effective and less painful if you do them sooner rather than later. Your dentist may need to monitor a condition over successive appointments. They may realize after an upcoming visit that you need a certain procedure–such as a new crown.

Studies have shown that those who visit the dentist less often tend to have more oral health issues. They suffer more frequent cavities, dental injuries, and a higher incidence of gum disease. The science is clear: more visits are better than fewer.

4. You May Need to Schedule More Often 

Certain people may benefit from more frequent visits. For example, if you have a history of gum disease. Those who smoke or have diabetes are at a higher risk of gingivitis and other diseases.

Smoking is bad for your teeth and can do much more than cause them to yellow. You may need more regular appointments to keep up with your oral health if you use tobacco in other forms, too.

Everyone’s oral health is different from the next person’s. Speak with your dentist and you may learn that you could benefit from additional visits.

5. You Can Get Dental Fillings and Dental Whitening

Many of the issues that crop up during a dental cleaning can be handled during the same visit. A perfect example is dental fillings. You may have new cavities that require quick drilling and filling before they enlarge.

The sooner you fill cavities, the better. It’s important to remove the decayed tooth and fill the gap. Again, regular six-month visits help a dentist stay on top of any newly-developed cavities.

This is also the perfect time to get dental whitening. A dentist can use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth if they have begun to yellow. This restores your teeth to a more pleasant, pearly look.

You can get dental whitening at a mall or clinic, but we advise against this. They are often not registered or skilled dental professionals. Your dentist can do the procedure in a more effective, longer-lasting way.

Schedule an Appointment With Alumni Dental Center

Dental cleaning is a must if you want to maintain optimal oral health. It’s important to schedule these cleanings at least once every six months. These visits allow a dentist to keep an eye on your oral health and nip potential problems in the bud.

Alumni Dental Center can help you stay on top of your dental cleanings. Fill out our patient form and schedule an appointment with us today.