Every six months or so you come into our dental office in McMinnville to have your bi-annual teeth cleaning. This typically means a little bit of gentle scraping to remove plaque buildup, a thorough flossing, and a finishing polish. While one purpose for these hygiene visits is indeed to get your teeth super clean, there are several other reasons why these twice a year appointments are so important.
Your dental hygienist has a trained eye and knows what to look when performing your cleaning, but the human eye can only see so much. That’s why we rely on dental x-rays to get a closer view at your teeth and jaw bone. These images, often produced by safe, low-radiation x-rays, allow both your hygienist and your dentist in McMinnville to see any cavities that are still too tiny to see with the naked eye. Some types of x-rays can also show any problems lurking below the actual teeth such as an abscess or bone loss.
At each one of your appointments, your hygienist and dentist aren’t only looking for any dental problems, they’re also on the lookout for signs of several systemic diseases. There have been many studies that support a link between oral health and overall health. In fact, sometimes diseases that can affect the whole body are first identified at a dental visit, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. These diseases may include diabetes, oral cancer, and heart disease.
Over time, teeth may shift, gums may recede, or tooth sensitivity may increase. Your bi-annual dental hygiene appointments are a great time for you to discuss any changes to your oral health or any concerns you may have with your dentist. It’s also when you may choose to talk about any cosmetic dentistry or restorative dentistry treatments you’ve been debating on for awhile.
Regular cleanings and exams are a great way to catch and treat any problems before they become larger, more serious issues. But these cleanings alone won’t keep smiles healthy for long. It’s still important to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine at home. This means brushing twice a day and flossing once a day for optimal oral health.
We understand that sometimes it’s difficult to go to the dentist, especially if you aren’t experiencing any pain or suspect any problems. But regular appointments at our McMinnville dental office can help prevent those issues from occurring the first place.
If it’s time for your dental cleaning, give us a call to schedule an appointment.