Along with diligent daily brushing and flossing, professional dental cleanings form the foundation of preventive dental care. The reason why brushing, flossing, and rinsing isn’t enough to keep your teeth clean is that there is always some residue left behind, and this residue can continue to cause plaque and tartar buildup which can be harmful to the teeth and gums over time.
Let’s talk about why it is key to have regular professional dental cleanings by a dental hygienist, and where you can go in Zelienople and Greater Pittsburgh for excellent dental care for the whole family.
Why Are Plaque and Tartar Harmful?
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that accumulates on and between your teeth. It forms from the sugars and starches in our diet, and it is filled with acid-producing bacteria – which can create holes (cavities) in a tooth as well as cause gum infection.
Most plaque is removed by brushing and flossing, but some of it is left behind on the teeth and below the gumline, no matter how good of a brusher or flosser you are. When plaque is not removed, plaque hardens into tartar. Tartar is an advanced buildup on the teeth that can cause further tooth decay. When it gets below the gum line, it can build up between your tooth and gum. When this bacteria builds up over time, it acts as an irritant, which leads to tender, bleeding gums. This is the beginning of Periodontal or Gum Disease, in which the bacteria will eventually start eating away at your bone and in time, will make your teeth loose and in some severe cases, you may even lose some teeth.
When you brush and floss at home, you are only able to reach about 1-3mm between your tooth and gum to keep it clean. Because tartar is so hard and, in some cases, deep, it can only be removed by a dental hygienist. The hygienist uses special instruments to remove it safely from your teeth so it cannot cause deterioration of your bone and negatively impact your oral health. Professional dental cleanings by your hygienists at Marion Smile Center are recommended every 3-6 months to keep plaque, bacteria, and tartar at bay and to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible, along with great home care.
Excessive deposits of tartar can lead to Periodontal Disease, which can:
- Make gums bleed, red, and painful
- Loosen teeth
- Cause tooth loss
- Cause persistent bad breath (halitosis)
- Spread inflammation and infection through the circulatory system to other parts of the body
The American Dental Association (ADA) says this inflammation is linked to serious health conditions, such as heart disease, dementia, arthritis, hypertension (high blood pressure), and diabetes. So, what happens in your mouth does not stay in your mouth. Accordingly, excellent oral hygiene is a must.
Why Do I Need Regular Dental Cleanings by a Dental Hygienist?
Your dental hygienist will perform (or oversee) dental X-rays regularly to check your bone levels, assess your gum tissue, and look for signs of decay. They then perform a highly meticulous cleaning, removing every bit of plaque and tartar from your teeth.
The hygienist will verbally give your dentist a preliminary assessment prior to their more in-depth examination – in which the dentist checks for signs of decay, gum disease, problems with the dental bite, swollen lymph glands under the jaw, and other issues.
How Often Should I Have a Professional Dental Cleaning?
Most children and adults have a professional dental cleaning every 6 months. People who tend to deal with frequent dental decay, gingivitis (early gum disease), or more advanced periodontitis benefit from more frequent cleanings, every 3-4 months. Your dentist will let you know the frequency that would be best in your case.
Dental Cleanings in Butler County and Zelienople, PA
Dr. Mark Marion and his team call a regular dental cleaning that focuses mostly above the gum line, a “healthy mouth cleaning.” When patients routinely take advantage of this simple preventive service, they can count on years of healthy mouths and sparkling smiles.
If you have any of the gum or teeth issues listed above, you may be in need of “gum therapy” to get your teeth and gums back on track. Our team of specially trained hygienists have been known to have amazing success with our gum therapy program and would love to help your get your smile back to healthy!
The finest in preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry is available at Marion Smile Center in Zelienople, PA. Dr. Marion and his team are ready to help you and your family have outstanding oral health for life.
Call us for a professional dental cleaning and exam at (724) 452-4300, or request an appointment online now. We look forward to being your family dentist!