Did you know that brushing and flossing alone without a dental cleaning will not prevent harmful bacteria from finding their way into the mouth? These harmful bacteria affect the oral and overall health, and this explains why approximately 90% of American adults have gum disease (CDC). Dental cleaning reduces the risk of plaque buildup and gum disease.
While dentists recommend getting professional dental cleanings every six months, it is mainly meant for patients with good oral hygiene and a healthy mouth. As for patients with one or more risk factors, they should visit their dentists more than twice a year.
When to schedule more frequent dental cleanings
The ADA recommends that patients make plans with their dental care providers to determine how often they should go for dental cleanings. Most dental care providers provide a free initial consultation to determine the frequency of the patient's visits based on some risk factors. Some of the risk factors that may require more visits to a dentist include:
Smoking increases the risk of oral disease. Some potential oral diseases caused by smoking include gingivitis, oral cancer and gum disease. Although smoking and other risk factors are considered genetic, it is preventable. Patients who visit their dentists can get help to quit this destructive habit.
Today, everything from sleep apnea to restless leg syndrome can be screened by a dental care provider during regular dental cleanings. Sleep disorders are mainly caused by the position of the jaw and teeth. Therefore, visiting a dentist for regular dental cleaning is essential to maintain proper jaw and teeth alignment.
Diabetes is a major risk factor that can lead to periodontitis or the inflammation and infection of teeth-supporting bones. Additionally, diabetes reduces the production of saliva, which eventually leads to dry mouth. Because saliva protects the teeth from germs that cause cavities, diabetic patients are at a higher risk for cavities due to plaque buildup, which eventually causes tooth decay. Just like smoking, diabetes interferes with the healing process and delays the healing of wounds after dental surgery or tooth removal.
During pregnancy, women tend to feel overwhelmed by all the things they have to do to maintain the health of the baby. Visiting the dentist for dental cleanings is one important way of protecting the unborn. When pregnant women fail to take proper care of their teeth and gums, they not only put themselves at risk of oral diseases, but they risk the health of their unborn baby.
Are you afraid of the dentist?
Between strange noises, prodding and jaw discomfort, fear is the main reason why most Americans skip their dental cleaning appointments. If you or someone you know has had a bad experience, you may never go back. Fortunately, dentistry has changed over the years, and there are several ways to calm you down. There are sedatives that can help melt away your fears. Contact our office today to schedule your next dental cleaning.
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