Why Are Dental Cleanings Necessary?

dental cleanings

The American Dental Association (ADA) requires a professional dental cleaning twice a year. However, you may wonder why dental cleanings are necessary, especially if you brush your teeth twice daily and floss. Here, we discuss why dental cleaning is crucial to your oral health and what to expect during a routine dental hygiene appointment. 

Why Do You Need a Dental Cleaning?

Unfortunately, your mouth is full of bacteria. These bacteria like to feed on food. Specifically, the sugars left behind on your teeth after eating. Bacteria eating sugar produce an acid that eats away at your teeth. Without routine cleaning, this acid builds up, leading to cavities. Bacteria also form plaque on your teeth (a mixture of saliva, leftover food, and bacteria), which can calcify into tartar. 


Not only does tartar and plaque build up along your gumline, but it can act as a breeding ground for bacteria and irritate the rest of your mouth. On top of this, tartar buildup makes cleaning your teeth difficult, which can cause even more dental problems. 


Even if you brush your teeth twice daily, floss, and use mouthwash, there’s always room for cleaner teeth. Visiting your dentist twice a year allows for deep cleaning. Your dental team can remove tartar you cannot eliminate using your toothbrush. 


On top of this, during a routine dental hygiene visit, your dental hygienist can reach places you may not be able to and check for signs of other dental problems, allowing you to receive treatment sooner rather than later.

What to Expect During a Dental Cleaning

During a routine dental hygiene visit, your dental hygienist does more than brush your teeth. They work using specially designed tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and get between your teeth. They may floss your teeth as well. 


During the exam, they’ll check to ensure you have no signs of gingivitis (including receding gumlines and swelling) and may even apply dental sealants or fluoride treatments to keep your teeth healthy. Even if you take excellent care of your teeth, your routine dental hygiene appointment is a great time to check for hidden dental problems you may not know about. 


Sometimes you may get X-rays during your dental cleaning. This helps your dental team identify any underlying issues so you can get treatment sooner rather than later. Your dental team will also check for cavities through a combination of X-rays and feeling for soft spots along the surface of your teeth. 


A dental cleaning visit is a great time to address any dental concerns, including soreness, pain, cleaning issues, or questions. Part of a routine dental exam is to catch any problems before they become serious, so take time to talk with your dentist about your current dental health concerns. 


If it’s time for your twice-annual dental cleaning, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, contact Coolbreeze Dentistry at (972) 432-8811. Our team of dental professionals works to keep your smile healthy for years to come, so make sure to visit us so we can help you care for your teeth.