Has it been a while since you last had a dental cleaning? It’s easy to fall out of the habit of going to the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and comprehensive oral evaluation, but these visits are important for your oral health, so there’s no better time to get back on track! Here’s what you can expect.
How Long Dental Cleaning Takes
Most of the time, dental cleanings and comprehensive oral evaluations are scheduled for the same appointment. Together, these are often referred to as a “dental check-up.” We typically schedule these appointments to last 45 minutes , but if it’s your first time visiting our office, your appointment may take an hour or more, as we’ll want to take the time to discuss your dental and relevant medical histories, as well as any concerns you might have.
If you’ve had a lapse in dental cleanings and it’s been a year or more since your last visit, you can also expect your appointment to last a bit longer, as there will be more plaque and tartar to remove from your teeth. We use an advanced ultrasonic tool that comfortably removes most of the buildup; after your teeth are cleaned, they’ll be polished to create a smooth surface that makes it harder for new plaque deposits to form.
Why Dental Cleanings Are Important
Here’s why it’s important to see your hygienist every six months for dental cleanings:
It’s the Best Way to Remove Tartar
Brushing and flossing your teeth removes the majority of plaque that has accumulated throughout the day, but even with good brushing habits, plaque can build up along the gumline or between the teeth. When plaque isn't brushed away, it hardens into tartar.
Tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing; professional dental tools are required. This is why maintaining good oral hygiene at home and regular dental cleanings go hand in hand. Regular dental cleanings are essential if you want to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for decades to come.
It’s an Easy Way to Brighten Your Smile
During your dental cleaning, your hygienist will remove light stains from your teeth to improve their appearance. You'll leave our office with teeth that not only feel cleaner, but look whiter! If you have more severe discoloration, a dental cleaning is a good first step before professional teeth whitening treatments since it removes the plaque and tartar that coat the surfaces of your teeth, allowing peroxide whitening gel to penetrate better.
You’ll Improve Your Overall Health
The link between dental health and overall health is becoming increasingly clear. Gum disease creates inflammation, and it's believed that this inflammation spreads beyond the mouth and into the rest of the body, potentially causing cardiovascular problems and increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Oral health has also been associated with diabetes and preterm birth, and bacteria in the mouth can cause infection elsewhere in the body.