Why your “cleanings” are so important
Updated: Mar 22, 2021
You’ve gotten an email from us, reminding you of an upcoming dental appointment. “What?!” you think to yourself.
“I don’t even remember making that appointment!” We get it; the last time you came in (maybe up to 6 months ago!), you made an appointment for your next exam and cleaning when checking out and had since forgotten about that appointment. We make appointments well in advance, because as a mom,I know life can get in the way of my plans. Having something on my calendar in advance lets me schedule accordingly or move around my schedule if the need arises.
Why does the Smiletheory team stress the importance of these biannual exams and cleanings?
At the risk of being overly simplistic, I like to compare dental check ups to getting your car tuned. To prevent costly car repairs, you gotta make sure that the oil has been changed, the tires have been rotated, and the diagnostics on the car have been performed. The car mechanics say that regular maintenance can prevent sudden, unexpectedly large expenses later.
Your dental check ups are very similar.
The hygienist checks your gums to make sure they are healthy and to prevent more (read: costly) treatment in the future. The dentist comes in to make sure any old fillings you have are still serviceable or whether that “brown spot” on your teeth is a cavity or just some staining that needs to be polished away. The dentist may check your bite to make sure you’re not overly grinding your teeth. The dentist and hygienist will also check your throat, tongue and surrounding tissues for any suspicious abnormalities (we call this an oral cancer screening). This is all before your cleaning actually starts! The cleaning portion is when the hygienist will use specialized equipment to remove stains, plaque (bacteria), and tartar from your teeth that cause gum infections and bleeding, receding gums, all in an effort to keep gum disease at bay.
Gum disease is the leading cause of early tooth loss. It also plays a role in many systemic health issues:
A strong link exists between cardiovascular disease and gum disease. Getting your teeth cleaned twice a year helps prevent gum disease, therefore your risk for potentially fatal heart attacks and strokes decreases.
A strong link exists between gum disease and pre-term birth and low birth weight babies. Pregnant women should be especially cognizant of their gum health.
Gum disease and diabetes are closely linked. Gum disease may affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.
Most dental insurance plans recognize the importance of preventative care, and generally cover these appointments. Don’t forget to utilize your dental benefits dollars.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions or concerns.
Wishing you good health, Dr. Singh