Many people may not realize that simply brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day is not always enough to maintain good oral health.
Scheduling regular dentist appointments for teeth maintenance can significantly improve oral health and prevent many common oral diseases.
The health of the teeth and mouth have been found to have a direct link to overall body health. This article will discuss how regularly people should go for teeth maintenance and why it is so important.
What does teeth maintenance consist of?
Teeth maintenance can refer to various kinds of check-ups and procedures. Usually, if there are no other health issues present, the only maintenance needed is a simple hygiene exam and a dental cleaning.
During an oral hygiene exam, also known as a dental exam, a dental practitioner will examine the teeth for any cavities, signs of tooth decay, or gum disease.
An assessment of the face and jaw is usually also carried out to check for any abnormalities that may be present. In some cases, if any problems are detected, an X-Ray may also be necessary.
Dental cleanings consist of the removal of any plaque and bacteria build-ups on the teeth. This is done by first scraping the teeth using a tool called a scaler.
Next, dentists will deep clean the teeth using an electric brush. Once this is done, dentists will thoroughly floss the teeth to remove any plaque or other debris that has built up between the teeth.
Finally, the teeth are polished using a polishing paste. In the case of severe stains, dentists may perform an air-polishing procedure.
Why is it important?
Going to a dentist or dental hygienist for teeth maintenance is a lot more important than many people may realize.
When going for teeth maintenance, oral hygiene exams are usually performed. This allows dental professionals to thoroughly assess the teeth in order to treat and clean them according to their condition.
These patient exams are also important for identifying any oral problems such as cavities, gum disease, sensitivity, or damaged teeth.
Often teeth can be in bad health without causing any obvious signs or symptoms. Many dental health issues, if left untreated, can cause other, more serious conditions.
Teeth cleaning that is done by a dental professional will remove plaque and, in some cases, tartar (which is the hardening of plaque) as well as any build-up of bad bacteria. Tartar can usually be prevented by regularly brushing or flossing.
However, if patients do get a build-up of tartar, it can only be removed by a dental professional. A build-up of plaque can indicate other dental issues such as gum disease and tooth decay. Sometimes plaque builds up beneath the gums, and dentists can remove this during teeth cleaning as well.
Dental cleaning also helps to eliminate bad breath and can improve the appearance of teeth. If polishing is performed, the teeth will look shinier, and the texture will become smoother.
Another benefit of regular teeth maintenance is that it allows dentists to identify any oral problems such as cavities, gum disease, sensitivity, or damaged teeth. Often teeth can be in bad health without causing any obvious signs or symptoms.
Many dental health issues, if left untreated, can cause other, more serious conditions. Dentists can assess for early warning signs of gum disease, oral candidiasis, or oral cancer.
How often is teeth maintenance needed?
This is subjective and depends on many different factors. For patients who generally have good oral health and no other complications or oral diseases, teeth maintenance is usually necessary every six to nine months.
However, for those who are at higher risk for oral diseases, teeth maintenance might be needed as often as every three months.
These patients include those who do not routinely brush twice a day, people who have a dry mouth, or anyone with a history of poor oral health. This also applies to patients with chronic health problems, as they are more likely to suffer from gum disease.
Certain chronic medications can often cause issues during dental procedures such as extractions. For this reason, it is best that these patients visit a dental professional more frequently to prevent these procedures from being necessary.
Patients who have braces fitted should visit a dental practitioner every three or four months for teeth cleaning.
This is because food and other debris can get stuck more easily and these patients are at a higher risk for developing cavities or experiencing tooth decay and gum diseases.
Those who undergo Invisalign treatments can be slightly less at risk for these dental health problems. However, using Invisalign can still cause somewhat of a build-up and it is best for these patients to go for dental cleanings at least two or three times a year.
Dental health can affect the body
Many people may not realize the impact that dental health can have on the overall health of their bodies.
If someone’s oral hygiene is poor they may be at an increased risk for very serious conditions such as heart disease, strokes, cancer, and diabetes. This is because a larger amount of bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the mouth.
Dental problems such as persistent gum disease can also indicate the presence of these more serious diseases in patients. Regular dental cleanings can help to eliminate the risks of these diseases.
Teeth maintenance is often seen by patients simply as a way to improve the overall appearance of the teeth by making them look cleaner and smoother.
However, teeth maintenance is a very important part of ensuring and keeping up good oral health. Booking regular dental cleanings and oral hygiene exams with a dental practitioner is a preventative measure and can greatly reduce the risks of experiencing serious dental issues.
This is also an effective way to identify early signs of many oral diseases. For most people, teeth maintenance is needed two or three times a year at the very least.
The cleaner teeth are, the less likely they are to cause problems for patients.