Your daily brushing and flossing routine is crucial to thwarting dreaded cavities and gum disease from invading your smile, but by itself, it’s still not enough to maintain top-notch oral health. There is a reason we recommend regular dental cleanings and exams! Seeing our dental team for routine dental checkups and cleanings supports your daily oral hygiene efforts by taking care of those things you can’t at home, like removing tartar (that hardened plaque of sticky film which destroys gum tissue and tooth enamel) as well as detecting problems early when they are the least invasive and costly to treat. Surprisingly, plaque and tartar can build up in a short period of time making your mouth vulnerable to all kinds of dental issues. When you come in for a routine dental cleaning, our experienced team will scrape the tartar off of the gum line and below it, as well as give your pearly whites a thorough polish and flossing. Polishing removes stains on tooth enamel that builds up from the food and beverages consumed. You will also receive a thorough examination of your oral tissues, including the gums and the throat along with your teeth. With the help of dental X-rays, we can detect problems that may not be noticeable to you right now, such as cavity formation, gum disease, oral cancer, jawbone issues, bite issues, impacted teeth, abscesses, diabetes and more. Why You Should Come in Twice Yearly for Dental Cleanings – Save tooth enamel from the destructive acids in plaque and tartar as well as the effects of bruxism (teeth grinding). – Keep gum disease from inflaming your oral tissues and preventing tooth and bone loss. – Make sure your jaw bone is healthy and supportive to prevent tooth and bone loss. – Keep your teeth whiter and brighter by removing stains and discoloration. – Keep your breath fresher and prevent halitosis. – Detect oral cancer in the early and most successfully treated stages. – Keep your body healthier as your mouth is free of disease, including heart disease and stroke. – Maintain previous dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, dentures, etc. If you are at increased risk for dental issues, it is crucial that you don’t skip annual dental cleanings and checkups. High risks include being 55 and older, male, a woman experiencing hormonal changes like menopause or pregnancy, being a regular tobacco user or regularly drinking alcohol. You are also at greater risk if you have diabetes or cancer, take medications that result in dry mouth, have poor oral hygiene, are excessively stressed or have a family history of poor oral health. In addition to preventing oral issues, seeing our dentist for preventative maintenance can reduce the amount you spend on extensive dental work down the road, including lower dental insurance. Preventative maintenance is a wise investment in your oral health and overall health as well as your bank account. With the holidays in full swing, gift your loved ones and yourself with end-of-year dental cleanings and start your new year off with better dental health!