Contrary to popular belief, a dental cleaning isn’t simply a cosmetic-level check-up. When patients come in for a hygiene visit, it’s an opportunity to thoroughly examine the mouth for existing or potential issues.
Regular check-ups are crucial for identifying and diagnosing problems relating to a patient’s long-term oral health. They’re also a great way to rejuvenate your smile with small, incremental improvements and educate you about how to maintain these improvements in between visits.
In order to paint the full picture of how important these visits are, we’ve compiled a list of 20 reasons that dental cleanings can benefit you. Many of these may seem like common sense, and a few may be surprising to learn for some people.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. A hygiene visit is like a visit to the spa for your teeth and gums.
Your teeth will be professionally cleaned and polished. You’ll leave with your whole mouth feeling fresh and clean, and your smile looking beautiful. It’s not only a way to improve your appearance and health, it also boosts your confidence and self-esteem as well!
2. You keep your teeth!
Losing teeth is not a natural part of the aging process. If you follow our customized oral care recommendations consistently and visit us regularly for professional exams and maintenance teeth cleanings, you can plan on keeping your teeth for many years, if not for the rest of your life.
3. You may not know that you have a “silent disease.”
Periodontal, or gum, disease is called a “silent disease” because patients do not experience pain until the disease is very advanced. Don’t wait until it bleeds or hurts. Our hygienist and doctors do a periodontal update exam (measuring the gum level on every tooth) at every regular cleaning appointment. Early detection is the best defense!
4. Oral health is part of overall health.
Gum disease is associated with a number of chronic illnesses and conditions, such as pregnancy complications like low birth weight and premature birth as well as diabetes, respiratory ailments, heart disease, kidney disease, and osteoporosis. The list of conditions keeps growing, but cleanings can help your body fight all of them!
5. Get screened for oral cancer.
Early detection is extremely important and greatly improves the chances for successful treatment and survival from various forms of oral cancer. Our dental team performs a screening at every cleaning or hygiene appointment.
6. Identify small problems before they become big ones.
A regular appointment allows you to maintain your oral health and quite possibly avoid dental emergencies by addressing small problems early on. This saves you time and money in the long run.
7. It’s not just a “cleaning.”
Some patients only require maintenance professional cleanings in our office twice a year, while others need deep pocket scaling to control gum disease. Our doctors and hygienist work together as a professional team to provide you with optimal hygiene options to suit your specific needs and help you achieve optimal oral health.
8. You’ll save a significant amount of money over time.
In the long-run, you’ll pay more for a neglected mouth! Not receiving professional cleanings and teeth examinations twice yearly often leads to more extensive—and expensive—treatment later. As Granny used to say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Let us help you save money!
9. Hygiene visits help you protect your prior investments in your dental health.
Patients who have had gum disease treatment, dental implants or other restorative procedures such as veneers, crowns and fixed bridges need to maintain excellent oral health to ensure a lasting treatment. Wouldn’t you want to avoid spending the same dollar twice? Let us help you maximize the important investment you have in your mouth.
10. You always learn something new.
Our hygienist is highly trained and skilled. She always takes the time to educate you about the best home care solutions for your situation and to point out simple tips and techniques that can make removing toxic plaque at home more effective. She also stays abreast of trending oral care products and has separated the ones that do work from the ones that don’t.
11. Not all cleanings feel the same.
Our hygienist has one of those rare qualities of being able to combine a gentle cleaning with a very thorough cleaning. She is known among her patients to have a soft touch, yet she leaves no stone unturned. Not only do her patients say their mouths feel fresh, but they also say their gums feel invigorated—almost like an hour of gentle Pilates. Come see for yourself!
12. We like to get to know you so we can provide personalized care.
In addition to providing personalized care, our hygienist takes the time to get to know you. She wants to understand your every concern about your mouth or your smile, help you meet your goals in obtaining a healthy, fresh mouth, and answer all of your questions. From explaining our recommended treatment choices to learning about the latest and greatest lip balm, we are passionate about personalizing your care!
13. Each visit means our team is better prepared to help you.
Our hygienist actively participates in continuing dental education courses so she can incorporate the most up-to-date scientific information into our dental practice and forward the appropriate updates to her patients.
14. Our team can help treat dry mouth.
Saliva is important for preventing tooth decay by rinsing away food particles and neutralizing acids which promote decay. Many patients experience dry mouth because of the various medications they take. We can make product recommendations which will lessen the adverse effects of dry mouth and, in turn, allow your mouth to feel more comfortable.
15. Get your bite checked at every cleaning appointment.
Over time, you may develop bite imbalances that lead to premature tooth wear, or excessive or uneven wear on your teeth. Pain or clicking stemming from the jaw (the TMJ or Temporomandibular joint) can develop as a result of this. Our doctors will check your bite at every cleaning appointment and will intervene if treatment is necessary.
16. Have your plaque and tartar removed by professionals.
Plaque is the sticky substance that builds up around the gum line. Tartar is hardened plaque that is extremely difficult for you to remove at home without traumatizing your gum. And there is always the question, “did I get it all?” Let us take that question out of doing it yourself.
17. We’ll perform a cavity check, including the “invisible” ones.
There are some cavities that cannot be seen with the naked eye. We have the instruments and the training to detect cavities when they are very small, which means a minimally quick-fix treatment for you. When you as a patient see a cavity with the naked eye, it’s well on its way to being bigger than you think.
18. Get all of your questions answered.
There are many different brands of toothbrushes, powered toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, interdental cleaners, mouthwash and other oral care products. Ask us for recommendations so you can make an informed decision as to what is best for your situation. We can share with you what does work and what is merely advertising.
19. The more frequent, the better.
Twice yearly hygiene visits result in easier teeth cleanings because you have a healthy baseline in oral health from the start. If you are managing gum disease, every three to four months is the ideal frequency. Rule of thumb: When your mouth is healthy, your cleanings are easier.
20. Take advantage of 21st-century dentistry to protect your health.
We are fortunate to live at a time when tooth decay and gum disease can be prevented. Let us guide you in making good dental decisions for yourself and your health. Step into our modern office regularly!
If you would like to learn more about hygiene visits or to schedule a consultation with a local dentist here in New Orleans, please contact us.
Dental Arts is a full-service general dentistry and orthodontic practice for the entire family. For more than three decades, we have been providing the highest quality dental and orthodontic care available to the residents of New Orleans. Explore the Dental Arts difference today.