We’ve all heard that poor oral hygiene leads to cavities, bad breath and can lead to more serious conditions like gum disease. Since the body is interconnected, poor oral health has even been scientifically linked to other health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
What is the role of dental cleanings in maintaining oral hygiene and how often should we have them?
Here’s a scenario:
Your dental hygienist seems troubled that you haven’t been in for a dental cleaning for over 2 years and your dentist is emphasizing how important it is for you to come in at least every 6 months for a dental cleaning. You brush your teeth and floss every day and since your dental insurance only covers you for cleanings every year, you secretly wonder if the dentist just wants you to come in often so they can stay in business.
It seems rational that if you brush and floss daily you’re doing everything necessary towards excellent oral health, but there is a technical problem with this reasoning. The problem is that plaque and bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease can be out of reach of your tooth brush and floss. This is especially true if you have deep pockets in the gum line between your teeth. Normal pockets are 2 – 3 millimetres deep, whereas 4 – 5 millimetre pockets are considered deep and unreachable by home dental care measures.
The fact that your dental insurance provider only provides for cleanings once per year is a poor indicator of how often you really require a cleaning. After all, how often has your dental insurance provider looked in your mouth lately? And if you become one of the many adults who lose teeth due to gum disease, blaming your insurance carrier won’t change the grim fact.
So how often do you need a dental cleaning?
In truth it depends on your current oral health. If you haven’t been in for a professional cleaning for awhile, it would be wise to book an appointment to have one done and ask your dentist and hygienist what your dental hygiene needs are. Following your dentist’s advice might take more effort now, but will save you tremendously in the long term.
Downtown Nanaimo Dental Group is proud to serve your complete dental health needs in Nanaimo. Our Nanaimo dentists believe in continuous learning to bring you the latest technology in dental medicine, and our team of dental professionals aspire to the highest level of patient care. At each visit to our office, we treat you with the respect, honesty and dignity that you deserve.