Spring is the time when you scrub the baseboards and de-clutter the closets, but it’s also an ideal time for a dental cleaning as well. If it’s been more than six months since you last visited the dentist, then now is the time to schedule a routine exam. It’s also always a good time to reexamine your at-home habits and establish a regular routine of good oral care to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Benefits of a Healthy Smile
Teeth do more than chew food. Those pearly whites give shape to your face and help you to speak. It’s easy to forget that having healthy teeth and gums is just as important as maintaining the health of the rest of the body. A strong smile can boost your self-confidence and save you from unnecessary pain and trips to the dentist.
How Often Should You Clean Your Teeth?
Most dentists recommend that patients get their teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months or twice a year, the typical interval covered by most dental insurance companies. Professional cleanings remove the hard deposits that you cannot eliminate by brushing or flossing alone.
In addition to regular cleanings at the dentist’s office, it’s also important to maintain good habits at home. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once daily, preferably at night right before bed. Regular or electric toothbrushes get the job done; just make sure to replace your toothbrush or bristles every two to three months.
The Cost of Neglect
Plaque is a soft, sticky film of bacteria that builds up on the teeth. Thankfully, regular brushing and flossing removes most plaque, but if you let it sit on your teeth, then it turns into tartar that collects at the gum line. Plaque can also eat away at tooth enamel, creating a hole or cavity on the surface of the tooth.
The only way to remove tartar is with a professional cleaning. If tartar is not removed, then you run the risk of developing gum disease (gingivitis) and even a severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. In addition to discomfort and pain, these conditions can sometimes lead to tooth loss as the bone and gums that support the teeth break down.
Keeping up with Dental Appointments
If you can’t remember to make your bi-annual cleaning appointments, then try scheduling them around special times of the year, such as the start of school or near a birthday, and keep it the same time every year if you can.
Many dental offices send text reminders and mailers as well as phone confirmations so that your appointment doesn’t slip your mind in the days or weeks leading up to it. It’s important to not cancel cleaning appointments just because "nothing is wrong." The purpose of preventative care is to stop something from going wrong. Motivate yourself to actually make and keep the appointment by promising a small reward to yourself afterward.
Klement Family Dental’s team of caring professionals can help you and your family maintain good oral health with a range of preventative services focused on keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. Call 727-498-1959 727-498-1959 to schedule your spring cleaning today.