The coming of spring means that it’s time to deep clean our homes, unclutter the closets, and scrub the baseboards. But it’s also a great time for some spring dental cleaning as well! If it’s been more than six months, then it’s time to schedule your next teeth cleaning. While we’re at it, let’s take the opportunity to reevaluate your regular dental hygiene routine.
Your teeth do more than just chew your food. They provide a supporting structure for the shape of your face and help you speak. Healthy teeth and gums are an important part of overall body health. Professional cleanings remove the hard deposits that your regular brushing and flossing don’t take care of, and offer a valuable opportunity for some preventive care.
Don’t Neglect Your Teeth
Plaque is a sticky film that builds up on your teeth. The plaque that escapes your efforts at cleaning sits on your teeth, calcifying into rock-hard, difficult-to-remove tartar. Neglecting regular cleanings allows that tartar to remain, which infects the gums, degrades tooth enamel, creates cavities, and increases the risk of gum disease as a result.
Nearly half of the adults over age 30 in the U.S. have gum disease (47 percent), according to the CDC. Not only that, but gum disease also affects 70 percent of adults over the age of 65. Gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, is an infection in the gums. As it progresses below the gum line, it damages the bone and the supporting tissues of the teeth. Patients with gum disease often have swollen, bleeding gums. Ever worse, though, is the fact that gum disease has been linked to other serious health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Very often, patients don’t realize they have gingivitis, a less-severe form of gum disease. This is one of the reasons that regular cleanings are important. When a hygienist cleans your teeth, they not only remove the plaque that your brushing and flossing has missed, but they can see the early signs of infectious gum disease while there’s time to prevent the inevitable problems that will follow if it’s left untreated.
Spring Teeth Cleaning Checklist
1. Follow the 2 x 2 rule. Brush for two minutes, two times a day.
2. Get a new toothbrush. Your toothbrush should be replaced after you get sick, or if the bristles become worn, or if you’ve been using it for about three months.
3. Floss every day. Your toothbrush might have trouble cleaning the tight spaces between your teeth, but food particles and bacteria have no trouble getting in there. That’s why they say, “You only need to floss the teeth that you want to keep.”
4. Drink more water. Sugary juices, sodas, and energy drinks are a disaster for dental health. Save them for mealtimes if you must drink them, and brush right afterward. Drink water to fulfill your hydration needs, and your body will be grateful for it.
5. Schedule your next appointment. Give us a call to schedule your spring cleaning and exam! During your cleaning and exam, we can help you keep your teeth clean and healthy, as well as catch any potential problems early on.
~Dr. Marea White