How Often Should I Schedule Dental Cleanings?

You probably know the best way to maintain good oral hygiene is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. But do you know how often you need to see the dentist? 

Dr. Valerie M. Preston and our team at VP Dental are here to bring you the latest in general and cosmetic dentistry. That’s why we’ve compiled this helpful guide on how often you should visit the dentist and why it’s so important. 

How often should you visit the dentist?

Throughout the day a sticky layer of bacteria called plaque forms on your teeth. While brushing and flossing can remove plaque, some still remain. Over time, this plaque builds up and forms a hard crust known as tartar, or calculus. 

If you don’t remove plaque, the bacteria can feed on your teeth and gums, leading to serious health problems. If you get plaque cleaned off your teeth early enough, you can avoid irreversible damage.

Only specialized dental tools can remove plaque. This is why experts, like the American Dental Association, recommend you get your teeth cleaned every six months, or bi-annually, so we can catch any dental issues caused by plaque, like tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis. 

In addition to checking on the health of your teeth, we can also perform a careful exam of your tongue, throat, face, and neck to catch any signs of illness like swelling, redness, or potential symptoms of cancer. 

Your dental health is connected to your whole-body health

Your dental health isn’t separate from your overall health. Issues in your teeth can migrate into other areas of your body. In fact, researchers have found the bacteria that causes gingivitis can migrate from your mouth to your brain and cause issues like Alzheimer’s disease.  

This same bacteria can also cause cardiovascular disease and stroke. In one Swedish study, that involved 1,676 participants over 26 years, there was a clear correlation between gum disease and stroke. It’s likely the bacteria that causes gingivitis leads to cardiovascular disease because it can enter your bloodstream and impair your circulatory health.    

There’s also a likelihood that poor dental health can lead to oral cancer since about 10% of people diagnosed with the condition don’t have a specific cause for it. And it’s possible the culprit lies in poor oral health. 

As you can see, poor dental health has a detrimental effect on your medical health. It's much more important than you may realize to see the dentist every six months. 

To learn more about caring for and maintaining your oral health, contact us today, and schedule an appointment.

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