According to the American Dental Association, you should “visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral examination.” Insurance plans often cover two cleanings and checkups per calendar year. So, why would your hygienist recommend anything different?
1. Infection Control
Your mouth contains thousands of bacteria and over half of Americans have gum disease. Bleeding gums is a strong indicator that your mouth is not healthy. When we see that you are in a state of disease, we will often recommend a combination of rinses, prescriptions and cleaning schedule that best suits your needs. Infection that is not managed will lead to bone loss. Once the bone is gone, you cannot grow it back.
2. Negative Habits
Smoking, chewing on Ice, drinking soda regularly and skipping brushing/flossing all increase your risk for decay and broken teeth. Allowing your hygienist to monitor your teeth more closely and recommend products to offset bad habits helps immensely. Our goal is to ensure that damage can be found early and that your long-term goals can be met.
If you have a history of decay, it’s important to do everything possible to prevent more decay in the future. And what better way to do this than have your very own cheerleader giving you a little extra push along the way. Fewer germs and more attention means you won’t need to say “Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda”.
Heavy calculus, or tartar, buildup is difficult to remove and when it’s sitting along the gum line, it can cause irreversible damage. Removing tartar is one of your hygienist’s main functions and trust me, they love removing it. Problem is, when the amount of tartar is overwhelming your tissue, or causing inflammation, it limits your ability to make positive gains. A typical cleaning shouldn’t cause your hygienist to run over schedule, break out into sweats or have a backache from one session. A three to four month interval might be better for everyone involved.
5. Medical Conditions
Bacteria in your mouth are capable of traveling through your bloodstream and causing complications with other medical issues like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and even cancers. A visit to the hygienist can disrupt bacterial colonies before they have time to cause infection. When trying to reduce total body inflammation, cleanings on a more frequent schedule will help you combat the effects and progression of these conditions.
We wish all of our clients only needed a cleaning twice a year but that’s just not reality. Because our office is patient focused, we will always work with you to find a schedule that makes the most sense. So, if the hygienist asks to see you more often, take it as a compliment and know that she just wants the best for you!