Time For A Cleaning?

Words of wisdom from our Hygienist!

Ever wonder why we get our teeth cleaned every 6 months? You may be thinking “well, it’s because that’s what my insurance covers and I want to get my money’s worth from them!” or maybe you’re thinking “I want white teeth and fresh breath”. Either way, the answer lies somewhere in the middle, plus more. The real reason it’s recommended to have your teeth cleaned at least 2x a year has many answers. Here are my top 3.

First and foremost, it’s to remove any hard debris (calculus or tartar) from your teeth. You may be wondering why I’m talking about a math course here. Let me assure you that is not the kind of calculus I’m referring to. Everyone knows the fuzzies that build up on our teeth when it’s time to brush. You know, that yummy carpet feeling? And then we brush and most of it goes away, right? Not exactly. Minerals in our saliva combine with any debris left behind (let’s face it we’re all human and miss spots, right?) and create a hard, calcified substance that sticks to the teeth like glue.  Once this occurs toothbrushes and floss cannot remove it. The only thing that can remove calculus is our lovely dental hygienists instruments. Now you’re probably thinking, “so why is this calculus stuff bad?”. When calculus forms it is extremely porous. This means that bacteria can make a lovely new home in your mouth where they can’t be touched. Additionally, the combination of calculus and bacteria cause our gums to get inflamed and, well, angry! This is part of the reason why your gums bleed when you floss or brush for the first time in a while.

Answer number 2: the inflammation process. The inflammation process causes gums to be puffy, red, and sensitive. Sometimes removing calculus during a cleaning can even make teeth temporarily sensitive because we’re taking off the blanket (calculus) that’s covering it. The inflammation process is basically your lymphatic system sending white blood cells to the affected areas to try and heal this “infection”. As you can imagine, having your body constantly trying to fight off an infection it really wears it down and effects its ability to fight off other infections in other parts of your body.

And finally, answer number 3. Remember that bacteria that we spoke about before? Well since those lovely little guys are in your mouth 100% of the time any time we swallow our saliva we are, inherently, also swallowing bacteria. Of course, there are good bacteria as well as bad just like anywhere else on our bodies. The difference here it that the bad bacteria in your mouth have been linked to a host of other systemic issues. Some examples include: heart disease, stroke, diabetes etc.

And if all those reasons are not enough to convince you to be diligent about your cleanings. Yes, we polish and it helps take away stain. And yes, cleaning that bacteria out will help with freshen breath. Convinced yet? I hope so! Schedule an appointment today!!!