Maintaining your oral health even when life gets busy.

There’s an art to balancing a career, taking care of your family’s needs, and still finding time to set aside for self-care—though sometimes, it feels less like an art or a balancing act and more like a three-ring circus! When life gets busy, it’s easy to let necessities like your regular professional dental cleanings slip through the cracks, especially if you know you take good care of your oral health at home. Going to the dentist even when you take great care of your teeth is a lot like still going for your yearly physical at the doctor’s office even if you’re sticking to a healthy diet and exercising regularly; your appointment will likely be uneventful, but it’s vital to ensuring that you stay healthy.

When it comes right down to it, your professional dental cleaning only takes one or two hours at our family dentistry Gainesville office every six months, which is a pretty fair trade-off when the reward is a healthier smile and body. If you’re not convinced, here are 5 benefits that regular professional dental cleanings will give you.

1. Professional dental cleanings help prevent periodontal disease and tooth loss.

The bacteria in your mouth often form a film on your teeth called plaque, which can cause oral health issues like cavities and gum disease. While you can remove plaque from your teeth with a solid oral hygiene routine—including flossing and using mouthwash at least once a day in addition to brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day—it only takes 24 to 72 hours for plaque to harden into tartar. Tartar is impossible for you to clean from your teeth at home and has to be removed with the proper tools by a trained dentist.

Since it forms so quickly, everyone has at least a little tartar on their teeth, and the bacteria-filled buildup can do real damage to your teeth and gums if it isn’t cleaned off regularly. As a result, getting your regular professional dental cleaning every six months helps to prevent larger dental issues like cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss, which severe periodontitis can lead to if it isn’t treated. Additionally, if Dr. Vairo or Dr. Guerra notice an area of your mouth that you aren’t cleaning as well, they can let you know so you can adjust your habits and prevent cavities from forming there.

2. They help your teeth look whiter.

Have you ever felt like your teeth look a little whiter and brighter when you leave our Gainesville dentist office after your regular cleaning? You’re not just imagining things—your teeth actually look better after your professional cleaning. This is because the buildup of tartar that forms on your teeth is tinted yellow or brown, darkening your teeth a little over time. While the whitening effect isn’t anything like the results you’d get from a professional whitening treatment, it can still leave you feeling more confident in the health and appearance of your smile after your dental appointment.

3. They allow your dentist to spot issues early.

No matter how careful you are to take care of your oral health at home, a number of risk factors or lifestyle choices can still cause you to suffer from oral health issues. While periodontitis is often talked about in relation to poor oral hygiene, it also has a number of health-related risk factors, such as autoimmune diseases or diabetes, that make you more likely to suffer from it. Habits like smoking or using any type of tobacco will also greatly increase your chances of suffering from oral health issues like gum disease.

Aside from traditional issues like cavities and periodontal disease, however, your fillings and other dental restorations need to be checked frequently to make sure they are holding up. A leaky filling can easily lead to a cavity beneath the filling, which can quickly get bad enough that you need a root canal. Going to your family dentist for a regular professional cleaning will ensure that your dentist can check up on your oral health and spot issues early—before they become more painful health issues that are harder to treat.

4. Professional dental cleanings save you time and money.

If you have dental insurance, every family member on your plan gets two free professional dental cleanings each year—meaning that your appointments won’t cost you a cent! When paired with the prevention and early detection of oral health issues that these appointments provide, that means you’re saving a ton of time and money you might otherwise be spending on dental treatments each year. Even when you do need dental treatments, they’ll likely be a lot more minor than they would’ve been if you hadn’t been to our office in a year or more, so you’ll still save time and money by catching issues early than you would by waiting until you have to visit our office for a major toothache.

5. They reduce your chances of larger health issues.

When you have periodontitis, which is a severe form of gum disease where bacteria makes it beneath your gum line and attacks the supporting structures of your teeth, oral bacteria can make their way into your bloodstream. This can set off a wide range of overall health issues, from increasing your chances of suffering from a stroke or heart disease to aggravating symptoms of diabetes or making you more likely to get infections in other parts of your body. You can also inhale oral bacteria into your lungs, increasing your chances of catching respiratory illnesses like pneumonia. As a result, preventing oral health issues like periodontitis and treating dental issues early when they do occur is a vital part of keeping you healthy in both the short and long term.

While life can be busy, it’s important to find the time to visit your dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning. Doing so will save you money and time while keeping your entire body healthier and happier. If you’re due for your professional dental cleaning and want to find the best dentist for you in the area, feel free to call our office to schedule a consultation at any time.