This is where you come in every 3 or 6 months, and the hygienist takes the baked on gunk off your teeth – gunk that is too stuck to get off with a toothbrush. Don’t worry – it happens to everyone, to some degree – but does get worse without brushing and flossing after every meal. This gunk is on the visible teeth, but also under your gums.
So – why get it done? What’s so bad about gunk?
Well, when you leave this on your teeth, bacteria (or sugar bugs for the kids) — make it their home. The longer you leave it, the more bacteria will breed, eventually resulting in an infection in your mouth. You can tell that’s happening when you have red gums and you get blood on your toothbrush or floss, and sometimes your mouth even hurts. Bacteria also cause consistently bad breath.
Antibiotics? Sure – but the bacteria hotel is still in your mouth, and they will start all over again. And this bacteria hotel eats at your teeth, causing cavities, increasing the risk of chips and cracks in your teeth, or losing them completely, as the bacteria will also eat at the roots of the teeth. Regular dental cleanings restart this clock.
Plus – your mouth is the entrance to your body so any infection can spread from your mouth and gums to the rest of your body – including your heart and lungs. Not what anybody wants.
Hygienist have specialized knowledge and powerful tools to clean your teeth, so they can do it as comfortably and effectively as possible. They also try to help you find ways to slow the growth of gunk and related bacteria, so you don’t have to see them for as long or as often. Brushing is great – but nobody is perfect!
Regular dental cleanings are preventative care – and a regular hygiene schedule will decrease the time you spend in the dental office with fillings, crowns or in the medical doctor’s office with related health issues.
Lastly – the hygienist has enough knowledge, and seen enough patients, to know when there is something they should be alerting the dentist to … catching little problems before they become big problems.
Keeping a healthy mouth and teeth, avoiding growing problems and catching little problems before they become serious, is why regular dental cleanings are so important. Like an oil change for your car.