You’re a pretty diligent brusher. You even floss…now and then. And no one is walking around wondering why your breath smells like something coming from a Newark refinery.
So, you think — who needs to see the Gentle Dental crew twice a year? What can they do with a “professional” cleaning that I’m not already doing at home?
The short answer? Lots.
Beyond the removal of plaque and tartar (which you cannot remove at home once it has developed on your teeth), there are more serious reasons to see the hygienists and dentists at Gentle Dental twice yearly.
- Head off gum disease early.
You may be a great tooth brusher, but the plaque is relentless. Miss a spot for a couple of days, and it starts locking down and turning into tartar. When plaque starts to accumulate and form tartar, the gums surrounding your teeth can become inflamed, and this can lead eventually lead to gum disease. If left untreated, this disease can cause tooth and bone loss. During your routine exams and cleanings, we check for the early signs of gum disease because catching and addressing it early is the key.
- Oral cancer can be right under your nose.
Like gum disease, part of our regular exam protocol is looking for the early signs of oral cancer. This is when patients wonder why we’re pulling on their tongues and pushing on the glands located just below the jaw line. We’re checking for oral cancer. Obviously, you want to catch that early, and you won’t see the signs at home.
- Your oral health may be headed down the wrong track.
Early diagnosis is early treatment. For dental issues, this not only can save you thousands of dollars, but it can save your teeth. You may think you’re doing a bang-up job at home, but we may see evidence that says otherwise. We keep a running record of your dental health. Have your gums receded since the last visit? Has that crack in a tooth become worse? We check for everything and keep an eye on any issues.
The period for regular checkups and cleanings is every six months. This isn’t an arbitrary timeframe; this is the time it takes for tartar to form to the degree it needs to be removed before it starts pushing up under the gums.
So, while professional dental cleanings and dental exams with the Gentle Dental team may seem like an optional task on your to-do list, in the long run, your teeth will thank you for making those visits mandatory.