Most of us head out to the dentist twice a year to endure some poking and prodding to make sure our teeth are clean and healthy. But, if we’re brushing and flossing regularly, are these dental cleanings really necessary?
Yes, they are. Unfortunately, even the most attentive brushers can’t do the kind of work a dentist can in the chair. Our mouths need twice yearly cleaning to maintain dental health, and ignoring an appointment just because you still have all your teeth can be a bad move.
Regular brushing and flossing are great habits to keep. They’re necessary for a truly clean mouth, and prevent disease and cavities. However, a brush can’t tackle tough tartar and plaque buildup. Dentists use a variety of tools to scrape and polish each tooth to remove this buildup. Brushing twice a day will remove food particles that are easily lifted, but there are hard to reach areas of the mouth where particles will remain, causing plaque and tartar. Once this has become too tough to remove with a brush or floss, that’s where a dentist comes in.
Not only does a regular dental cleaning take care of things your daily routine can’t tackle, it’s also a way for your dentist to tend to the general health of your mouth. There may be gum or teeth problems we don’t notice on our own, such as cavities, that need to be treated. Seeing a dentist twice a year prevents these issues from turning into serious conditions.
Though it’s recommended you see a dentist twice a year, that doesn’t mean you should slack on home cleaning. Teeth need to be thoroughly brushed at least twice a day, as well as flossed at least once every day. Be sure to take your time and get every tooth, and replace toothbrushes every three to four months.