Most of us know that in order to maintain total health, good oral health is essential. There is an increasing amount of literature and scientific research showing the link between oral and overall health. With the evidence mounting, dental cleanings are probably on your mind. Here are some facts about dental cleanings.
Two Times per Year
You are probably aware that most dentists recommend that you get a professional dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, every six months.
The term dental prophylaxis means the "removal of dental plaque, dental calculus, and stains from the exposed and unexposed surfaces of the teeth by scaling and polishing as a preventive measure for the control of local irritants."
This is what your dentist or dental hygienist is doing during your professional dental cleaning. You also get a full set of X-rays during this appointment to ensure that you don't have any cavities or tooth decay.
If there are dental cavities present, your dentist will usually correct any and all dental problems he or she finds. The two of you will decide upon a dental treatment plan together. Depending on your choice, your dentist can usually clean your teeth before or after any scheduled treatment.
Your Dentist Can Save Your Life
In addition to checking for and working to prevent cavities, your dentist is on the watch for oral cancer and disease during this twice yearly cleaning. He or she looks for gum disease, which could require gum disease treatment to help prevent tooth loss. In fact, your dentist looks for any irregularity in the normal anatomy of your mouth.
Now you can probably imagine why the mouth and body connection is so closely tied. Dental problems can sometimes be warning signs for other problems; something as seemingly harmless as bad breath can be a warning sign for something medically wrong with you.
There are a host of problems that can rear their ugly heads and evidence of this can be found in your mouth. This makes your dentist so very important to your well-being. He or she looks for warning signs and can refer you to your doctor, if necessary. So those bi-yearly professional dental cleanings you might be avoiding are not optional -- they are crucial.
Your dentist can be your hero. All in all, the best course of action for any person is to see a dentist twice a year for a teeth cleaning. If you notice anything strange or different or feel any pain at all, that is an indication that there might be something wrong. Don't wait for your 6-month checkup!