The fact of the matter is no one is perfect. I personally like to think I am, but unfortunately I am sure my hygienist would think differently. Do you really know why it is so important to maintain your 3, 4, and 6 Month recall appointments for a cleaning? Ask yourself this-
- Do you brush your teeth 2-3x daily
- Do you floss EVERY day-Without missing ever?
- Do you use or even own a tongue scraper?
- What about go-between brushes and interdental aids?
- Do you perform oral cancer screenings on yourself?
I would bet not and this is why I have job security, just kidding… maybe.
On a more serious note, patients without disease of the gums, bone or teeth and excellent homecare still get tarter build up. Bacteria is also always present in the mouth and constantly multiplying- It can never be completely eliminated but can be reduced to safe levels. Typically most people brush and floss the same exact way every time. And I would say more than half of these people don’t floss regularly, if they floss at all. Meaning you probably miss the same areas in your mouth over and over again because we build habits.
Next time you brush, really think about how long you brush for. What hand do you use to brush with and which side of your mouth do you brush first? I bet you brush the same way and start in the same area every time. Did you know you brush the best in the area you start first in your mouth and by the end of your brushing, efficiency drops by half. Bacteria, when sitting in the same area is very detrimental to your oral health, it can cause cavities and periodontal disease. Professional cleanings disturb and remove the harmful deposits (tarter) and bacteria.
So, what are cleaning appointments and recalls designed to do? They are preventative health care services that allow us to keep tabs on Gums, bone and tooth health, as well as preventing and or stopping big problems from occurring. I personally think it is better to catch a cavity while it can be filled vs. a patient coming in with pain and or needing a Root canal. Preventative care saves the patient from needing stressful long complicated and a lot of time Expensive services.
How Often Should You Schedule Appointments?
Recall Appointments for a cleaning can be any length of time, but should Never be more than 6 months apart. Some patients need a shorter recall between appointments meaning we see them 3-4x a year. Patients on a shorter recall are placed at these frequencies because they are at high risk and or have periodontal disease.
Did you know that periodontal disease is never cured? It can be maintained and kept in remission with more frequent visits. Periodontal disease can become active at any time and is caused by many factors (Homecare, smoking and genetics).
What would you do if your eyes started to bleed? I bet you would run to the ER and or your doctor because this is not normal. Well neither is bleeding of the gums. Bleeding gums are the bodies way of telling you there is too much bacteria that is not being removed.
Coming in regularly to see me (because I know you love seeing your awesome hygienist), allows me to assess your homecare habits. My job entails education and tweaking of your floss and brushing habits. I also get to introduce some new products and or tools you may not know about, and I can explain and show you how to use them.
So, if you don’t have your cleaning appointment scheduled, or have not been in a long time, Give us a call.
Scary? Well it’s only scary to think about what is left in your mouth, and the bigger issues that can pop up while you wait. I know taking the steps to make that first appointment is tough because of the unknown but you will learn so much to help yourself and prevent a future dental emergency.
For any additional questions on teeth cleaning appointments, contact our dental office or leave a reply below and we will be happy to try and answer them for you!