3 Things You Should Know About Dental Cleanings

Dental_cleaningsThe twice-yearly dental checkup is actually a fairly recent phenomenon, dating back only to the 1950s. However, while dental cleanings have been clinically proven to improve oral health outcomes, the proper frequency of dental visits cannot be simplified to a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Here are three facts about dental checkups that can help you better understand why they are important, and why their frequency should be tailored to your individual health situation.

  1. The optimal frequency for your dental cleanings is best determined by your dentist.
    Recent research underscores the fact that patients with conditions that put them at high risk for dental disease need to be seen more frequently. While patients with few oral health risk factors who also have exceptional dental habits at home may need fewer visits than average, the American Dental Association recommends that your dentist make the call about how often you should visit his or her office.
  2. Not all dental cleaning appointments are the same.
    Oral exams will vary in scope and purpose, depending on what your dentist and his or her staff determine that you need. Many office visits now include a thorough examination of your mouth, neck and head, as more than 120 diseases – including serious systemic conditions such as diabetes – have symptoms that can manifest in this area.
  3. You play a key role in getting the most out of your dental cleaning.
    Practicing good oral health habits at home, including twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, are essential to keeping your mouth healthy between visits. When you arrive for a cleaning, don’t forget to mention any problems you might be having with tooth pain or sensitivity. Also, let your dentist know if your gums are bleeding for any reason.

“The best way to maintain your oral health is to visit your dentist for a dental cleaning on a schedule that they will establish to accommodate your specific personal needs,”says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix.

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