How often should you have your teeth cleaned?
How do you know if you’re an annual, semi-annual or more kind of person?
Your dentist will tell you how often you should come, so trust their recommendation. If you’re finding yourself breezing through your semi-annual appointments with minimal scraping and no cavities (and you need to cut back for the same of your wallet), then feel free to ask your dentist if stretching your visits to the one year mark will be ok. Most dentists will be willing to see how it goes and adjust if the results at your annual dental cleaning show otherwise.
One of the main reasons for semi-annual dental cleanings is to avoid plaque turning into tartar. Unfortunately, even the most careful brushers can’t brush and floss away tartar without the help of a professional. You simply don’t have the right instruments and power tools to properly clean the way your dentist can.
Why else should you have regular dental cleanings?
Interestingly enough, while regular dental cleanings are good for your teeth, they can keep more than your teeth healthy. Conditions such as diabetes and anemia can sometimes show up in your mouth. If your dentist spots something unusual going on, they can refer you to a specialist for further investigation.
Regular cleanings are also good just to keep you motivated. The silky-smooth feeling of your teeth after a cleaning can be all it takes to reinspire you to clean your teeth better for your next appointment. Your dentist may also have new ways to clean areas of your mouth that have been problematic during your visit, such as behind your permanent retainer or your back molars. Whatever the case, semi-annual dental cleanings are a necessary part of keeping healthy.
How can you prevent dental cleaning anxiety?
If you’re avoiding having your teeth cleaned because of previous bad experiences, there are ways to make the whole process a little more comfortable.
For one, talk to your dentist. Discuss your dental fears and ask if there is anything their office can do to help ease your mind. Your dentist wants you to be comfortable in their office so they can help make you healthier, create good habits at home, and encourage future visits to prevent oral disease. Therefore, most dentists will be willing to work with you to create a more pleasant experience. Options might include using nitrous oxide (laughing gas), sedation or simply playing music in headphones.
However, the best way to help you feel more comfortable is to keep going. One good experience is a step towards another good experience, followed by an annual dental cleaning without anything to fear. You can help make your dentist cleaning appointments run more smoothly by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily.
If it’s been more than six months since you’ve seen the dentist, call Dr. Katherine E. Garrett and schedule your appointment. New patients are always welcome, and we are proud to provide dental care for your entire family. Don’t wait until you have a dental emergency, call our office today!