How to Tell If You Need a Dental Cleaning

August 16, 2022

Dental cleanings are an essential part of a healthy mouth, not something to be feared. But for many people, "dental cleaning" is enough to strike fear in their hearts. If you're one of those people, it's probably because you had a bad experience with your last dental cleaning.

Some feel like a dental cleaning every six months is unnecessary and will result in some pretty painful moments. The benefits of regularly cleaning your teeth are much greater than any discomfort you might feel during your appointment.

What is a Dental Cleaning?

A dental cleaning is a process during which a dentist uses various tools, such as brushes and scalers, to remove tartar and plaque from the teeth. If you do not get your teeth cleaned regularly, your gums will become inflamed and begin to recede, leaving the teeth exposed to bacteria and disease.

Once the gums are gone and the teeth have been exposed, they are much more challenging to treat since the gums are no longer protecting the teeth from infection and pressure.

So, what are some of the benefits of getting a dental cleaning? The main reason for regular dental cleaning is to remove tartar and plaque from your teeth. If left unchecked, this build-up can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, resulting in the loss of the gums surrounding the teeth.

People with poor oral health may develop other problems, such as tooth decay and bad breath.

Why Do You Need a Cleaning?

The biggest reason for getting a cleaning is to remove the build-up of plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky substance that forms on teeth. It is naturally removed when you brush your teeth regularly, but with poor dental hygiene, plaque can build up and harden into calcified deposits on teeth and gums called tartar.

When plaque and tartar are left on your teeth, they might get tough to remove on your own. Over time, they will grow and leave a yellowish stain coating around your teeth which might need to be removed through teeth whitening procedures. The build-up of plaque and tartar can also lead to cavities and gum diseases.

Signs You May Be In Need Of Professional Teeth Cleaning

If you get your teeth cleaned and still have plaque or tartar build-up, other issues may need to be addressed. It could be that you don’t brush or floss regularly enough. Some other dental issues could be a much more severe dental problems. 

One of these is TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition can cause your teeth to be misaligned. If you have TMJD, you may have an uneven bite, jaw joint pains, and abnormal jaw movement. 

This could be due to clenching or grinding your teeth at night. There are also other signs that you may need a cleaning. If you have bad breath, have noticed that your teeth are a little yellow, or have noticed that your gums are receding, a deep dental cleaning is much advised.

Getting your teeth cleaned twice a year will help prevent these issues and keep your smile bright and healthy.

Buildup of Tartar and Plaque

The dentist will examine your teeth for plaque and tartar accumulation during dental cleanings. Plaque is a sticky deposit on teeth in which bacteria proliferate. It comprises microorganisms, food particles, and minerals derived from saliva. 

Plaque is removed when you clean your teeth. Brushing your teeth two times daily can help prevent tartar buildup. Flossing is also recommended for extra cleaning action.  

If you have a lot of tartar on your teeth, your dentist may need to scale them before proceeding with cleaning. Scaling is a method of removing tartar from the teeth. Hand instruments or ultrasonic scalers can be used for this.

Soft Tissue Loss

While plaque and tartar are the main reasons for scheduling a dental cleaning, another essential aspect of your gums must be considered. The gums are the soft tissue that surrounds your teeth. Gum disease is a terrible problem that can happen if you don't take care of your gums.

Brushing and flossing help to keep the gums healthy, but you will need to visit your dentist for a cleaning at least every six months. By doing so, you are keeping the possibility of developing dental problems at bay.

Gum disease can cause your gums to recede and leave your teeth exposed. This can lead to more difficulty when brushing and more painful and expensive dental procedures. 

Even Teeth Are Important

Even if you have excellent oral health, crooked teeth can cause you to be self-conscious when you smile. While crooked teeth are easily fixed with braces, some people may not be old enough or too self-conscious to get braces.

Your dentist will check the alignment of your teeth during dental cleanings. If you do not have an even bite, the dentist can place retainers to correct the problem. Retainers are small dental devices that you wear at night. They are very good at fixing a bad bite.

If you have an uneven bite, it is essential to get it corrected, especially as you get older. When you are older, chewing becomes more challenging, and you will be more susceptible to gum disease with an uneven bite.

Dental Cleaning Can Help You Maintain Oral Health

To keep your natural teeth as you grow older, you must be diligent with brushing and flossing. It can be hard to start if you don’t already have a routine, but having a clean mouth makes it worth it.

Even if your teeth are cleaned every six months at the dentist’s, dental issues may still arise without a proper dental routine and hygiene. If you have a job that requires you to talk a lot, such as a teacher or a salesperson, you will need to brush and floss even more often to avoid bad breath due to gum disease. 

Getting your teeth cleaned regularly will help keep your oral health in good shape and keep you from needing much dental work later in life.

Wrapping Up

A dental cleaning procedure done every six months or as needed will keep them healthy and strong. Remember that brushing and flossing your teeth daily is not enough to keep your mouth healthy. Your teeth are porous, so food particles and plaque can get trapped in them, leading to cavities and gum disease.

Dental cleanings can help you maintain oral health by removing plaque and tartar from your teeth. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly will keep you from needing expensive dental work in the future.

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