Everyone over the age of four or five should visit the dentist for a professional hygiene appointment twice per year. While one important reason is to allow your dentist to check up on your oral health, so that you can treat any problems early, another important reason to visit your dentist every six months is to ensure that you get a professional cleaning.
What Makes a Professional Cleaning Different?
Your dental hygienist is an expert in cleaning teeth. He or she is able to reach every part of your mouth, including parts that may be more difficult for you to reach yourself during your home cleanings. Additionally, your hygienist uses professional cleaning equipment, allowing the removal of more plaque than you’re able to remove at home. It’s common for plaque to build up under the gumline, where toothbrushes don’t really reach; your hygienist is able to access this space with special tools, ensuring that bacteria don’t grow out of control and cause gum disease.
Both your hygienist and your dentist will look for signs of gum disease, which is medically known as periodontal disease. This is the leading cause of tooth loss for American adults, and it’s important to detect it so it can be treated before it leads to major consequences.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
We prefer to help you maintain optimal oral health so that you never have to worry about gum disease. However, if you do develop periodontal problems, we’re here to help you. We may recommend that you change your home oral care routine or the products you use at home. Our hygienists can teach you how to make sure that you’re brushing and flossing correctly, so that you get the best results. We may also suggest a deep cleaning, which involves:
- Scaling to remove tartar from below the gum line
- Root planing to smooth rough root surfaces where plaque builds up
- Arestin antibiotic treatment to kill bacterial infection
If you have gum disease, then your hygienist may recommend that you get more frequent cleanings than usual. You may need to come for a cleaning every four months, every three months, or even once a month for a while. Along with the improvements in your home care routine, this will remove the excess bacteria that are damaging your oral health. Once you get them under control, you’ll be able to return to the regular schedule of one cleaning every six months.
Sometimes, dental insurance doesn’t pay for the extra cleanings. Because gum disease that’s not adequately treated can lead to major consequences like the loss of teeth, it’s worth the small cost for extra cleanings to avoid much bigger problems, which will also cost you much more, in the future.
Dentist in Virginia Beach
At our office, we provide professional dental hygiene in Virginia Beach, along with other services. If it’s been more than six months since your last cleaning, then you need to come to our office to receive your regular checkup and cleaning. Dr. Mary Lewis, a family and cosmetic dentist in Virginia Beach, will not only help you optimize your oral health, but can also provide any cosmetic services that you need to have a great smile. To book your appointment, please call our office.