Dental cleanings are an important part of routine care for your teeth and mouth. Cleaning removes plaque and tartar you might not be able to remove by brushing at home. This reduces your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. You should get your teeth cleaned as often as your dentist suggests, which is commonly about every six months. Here are some other times when you may need to have your teeth cleaned:
Before A Whitening Procedure
If you plan to have your teeth whitened by your dentist, then you'll probably need to have your teeth cleaned before the procedure is done. If you have plaque and tartar on your teeth, they might interfere with the whitening procedure. You probably won't have your teeth cleaned on the same day you undergo whitening, but you won't be able to go very many days between the procedures. The dental office will coordinate the treatments so you get the best results with your whitening treatments.
When You Have Gum Disease
Regular dental cleanings will help prevent gum disease, but if you are lax about routine cleanings, or if you have certain medical conditions, you may develop the early stages of gum disease. If your gums appear swollen or if you notice that they bleed while brushing your teeth, you might have this condition. One treatment is deep cleaning of your teeth. In addition to cleaning away the buildup on the exposed part of your teeth, a deep cleaning scrapes off buildup under your gums. This is an important treatment that can turn your gum disease around. If the infection is allowed to advance, you might need surgery to treat your gum disease.
When You Haven't Been To The Dentist In Years
If you're having problems with your teeth, such as sensitivity or toothaches and you haven't been to a dentist in a long time, your dentist may want you to start with a dental cleaning before other treatments begin. This may not be necessary for emergency dental work due to a toothache, but it's possible a new dentist will begin with a dental cleaning. This will probably be done after you've had a thorough examination with x-rays if needed so all your cavities and other problems can be diagnosed.
A dental cleaning isn't usually painful. If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist may recommend that you use toothpaste for sensitive teeth for several days before you have the cleaning done. Since having your teeth cleaned isn't painful to endure, it is worth it to have your teeth cleaned a couple of times each year so you can ward off more serious dental problems and maintain a healthy smile.