Brushing and flossing regularly will help you fight against tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease. While these essential steps of good oral hygiene have numerous benefits, they alone cannot ward off all dental problems. Routine teeth cleanings give your dentist an opportunity to not only examine your oral health, but also give a deep cleaning teeth experience beyond what you can do at your bathroom sink. Routine Dental Visits If you shy away from visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. Some 20 percent of Americans only visit the dentist when absolutely necessary, while 5 to 8 percent refuse to visit a dental office at all. However, with today’s advanced technology and the DeJesus Dental Group’s comfort options – coffee, tea, a pillow and blanket – you can customize your dental experience to fit your needs. The American Dental Association recommends children and adults visit the dentist twice a year for routine teeth cleaning when teeth and gums are healthy. For patients with periodontal disease, a gum disease that can damage the jaw bone if untreated, it’s recommended to see the dentist every three months. Children with dental challenges or those who may need orthodontic treatment will likely need to see a dentist more frequently. If you’re unsure how often you should visit the dentist for a routine exam or deep cleaning teeth experience, just ask. What Happens During A Teeth Cleaning? During routine teeth cleaning, you’ll have a professional cleaning, an exam and possibly X-rays. Your dentist will likely ask if you’ve had any recent dental problems or pain. It’s important to be completely honest. The exam allows your dentist to catch any potential problems before they turn into major concerns or a major pain. Tell the dentist about your past dental problems, allergies, and current medicines. – X-rays: Dental X-rays are a commonly used tool to evaluate your teeth and gums. The images help your dentist identify problems like cavities, tooth decay, and impacted teeth. X-rays may not be needed for each dental visit, but they are just as important as your cleaning and exam with determining potential problems. – Cleaning: A dental hygienist will begin your teeth cleaning with a scaler – a metal tool with a small bladelike tip – to remove tartar and plaque below the gum line. If needed, the hygienist may use an ultrasonic tool to loosen the buildup and then rinse it away with water. The hygienist or dentist will then polish your teeth with a moderately abrasive paste before ending with a floss session. A professional teeth cleaning makes it harder for plaque to build up before your next dental appointment. – Exam: After the cleaning, your dentist will look for signs of tooth decay using a small mirror and metal probe. Your gums will also be examined for swelling or redness and you gingival pockets are measured. This portion of the exam helps your dentist spot signs of gum disease. Your dentist will also look for signs of oral cancer, especially in patients age 35 and older, as the disease is most treatable when caught early. Deep Cleaning vs. Regular Teeth Cleaning Your regularly scheduled cleaning focuses on the surface of the teeth, gum line and between the teeth. A dental deep cleaning, or scaling and root planning, removes bacteria, tartar and other debris sitting under the gum line. The aggressive cleaning performed during a dental deep clean can’t be achieved by brushing or with a regular cleaning. Bacteria beneath the gum line can create inflammation as your body attempts to fight the infection. Your mouth will be numbed during the treatment and your dentist may provide an antibiotic regimen for you to follow afterward. If left untreated, the inflammation can ultimately cause teeth or bone loss. The simplest way to maintain a healthy smile and white teeth is to schedule your teeth cleaning on a regular basis. Speak with your dentist about any concerns you have with your teeth or gums and take an active role in creating and maintaining a brilliant smile.