Let’s face it; dental cleanings aren’t every patient’s favorite activity. Some patients remember uncomfortable dental treatment from their childhoods; others don’t like the feeling of lying in the dentist’s chair itself. Our Glendale family dentists understand that going to the dentist may seem scary or nerve-wracking at first, but it’s vitally important that patients overcome their fears and receive the dental care they need. Professional cleanings provide a level of dental cleaning and rejuvenation that is impossible to achieve at home. Professional cleanings also allow your dentist to check for serious infections and oral cancer.
Why Isn’t Brushing Enough?
Many patients maintain excellent daily oral hygiene routines. They brush and floss twice a day, and perhaps additionally use products like mouthwashes. While this is a great start to preventing cavities and oral infections, at-home care alone is not enough to keep a healthy smile. Every patient needs regular professional cleanings to work in conjunction with daily brushing and flossing.
Brushing and flossing help rid your mouth of plaque—a stick bacterial film that builds up on teeth and gums throughout the day. Plaque is an unavoidable byproduct of eating and drinking throughout the day. You may be able to clear a good amount of plaque away with brushing and flossing, however some plaque will be left behind between teeth or in hard to reach places in the mouth. This plaque solidifies on teeth, turning into something called tartar (also called calculus). Tartar is mineralized plaque on dental enamel—and it provides a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional—brushing and flossing cannot destroy tartar. Patients therefore require semi-annual professional cleanings to destroy calculus and give them a clean slate to maintain with at-home care.
Brushing is obviously a vital part of keeping a healthy, beautiful smile. However, it is only when at-home care is combined with professional cleanings that patients can effectively avoid dental decay and gum disease. Additionally, professional dental cleanings allow your dentist to check for oral cancer and early signs of infection so that you can get prompt treatment.
Brushing and flossing are important, and maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine is a great first step to keeping a healthy smile for years to come. To maximize your oral health, and prevent decay, pair daily care with professional dental cleanings. Give our Glendale general dentists a call if you have any questions or you’d like to schedule an appointment—(818) 334-2974.