Over time, plaque (a thick, bacteria-filled film) and tartar (a hard calcium-based build-up) can build up on your teeth and eventually lead to tooth decay. While regular brushing and flossing at home can help prevent this buildup, it can’t necessarily remove it. That’s why going to your dentist for a professional cleaning is so important.
Even if you have impeccable home oral hygiene habits (you floss and brush for at least two minutes twice daily, or even after every meal), there is still work for your dental hygienist to do at your teeth cleaning appointment to help prevent tooth decay. The cleaning you get at the dentist is a more thorough cleaning that you can get at home, even if you’re a brushing and flossing superstar.
If left on your teeth, icky buildups of plaque and tartar create an ideal habitat for bacteria to thrive. Allowing bacteria to stay on your teeth and near your gums can lead to both tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can cause you to lose your teeth (not to mention the pain and expenses). Bacteria have a harder time sticking to smooth, clean teeth than rough or fuzzy-feeling teeth with plaque and tartar on them.
Plus, having professional teeth cleaning at the dentist means that you have a head start on keeping your teeth clean. Rather than battling potentially years of buildup (if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while), getting your teeth cleaned regularly means your get a clean start every six months and it will be that much easier to get a smooth, shiny smile at home between dental visits.
Best of all, cleanings can save you money in the long run. Most insured patients don’t pay anything out of pocket for their cleanings, so it’s essentially free. Plus, if you catch problems early or have the opportunity to prevent them you could eliminate the need for more expensive procedures to restore damage from tooth decay or gum disease in the future.
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