Many adults don’t concern themselves with their teeth until there’s an issue, but taking the initiative can actually help you save big in the long run. Here are seven key benefits of regular dental cleanings, and how these exams can prevent future problems.
At the Washington, DC, dental practice of Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, Dr. Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc provide biannual dental cleanings and exams to help keep your gums and teeth healthy.
The importance of regular dental cleanings
Routine visits give you an opportunity to build rapport with your dentist and address concerns regarding your teeth. Even if your teeth are perfectly healthy, regular dental cleanings can help keep them that way.
1. Preventive care
During your exam, Dr. Culotta-Norton carefully inspects your teeth and orders X-rays if needed. Many instances of tooth decay begin as small, soft spots that are easily missed, which eventually worsen into painful cavities and root infections. With preventive care, what could have been a root canal or extraction becomes a simple filling instead.
2. Gum disease treatment
Nearly 50% of adults suffer from some form of gum disease, or periodontitis. This is a progressive disease that causes inflammation, recession of the gums, and eventual tooth loss. If detected in its early stages (gingivitis), you can reverse the damage caused by periodontal disease and save your gums.
3. Plaque and tartar removal
During a professional cleaning, your dentist goes over your teeth with special tools, getting into nooks and crannies you might have missed during your daily routine. Once all of the plaque and tartar has been scraped away, they use a high-powered brush to polish your teeth and get rid of any debris.
4. Oral hygiene education
Brushing “badly” is better than not brushing it all, but there’s always room for improvement when it comes to dental hygiene. Dr. Culotta-Norton and her team are always happy to give pointers on how to brush your teeth and floss more thoroughly, what products to use, and which bad habits to break.
5. Teeth whitening
If you want to keep your teeth as pretty as possible, professional teeth whitening might be necessary. You may be able to book this on the heels of your routine cleaning, saving you another trip to the dentist.
6. Oral cancer detection
During your exam, Dr. Culotta-Norton does more than check for tooth decay and periodontitis. She also hunts for any sign of cancer. Over 50,000 new cases of oral cancer were diagnosed last year, but early detection can save your life.
7. Getting comfortable
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of regular dental cleanings is getting into the habit of seeing your dentist every six months. If you suffer from dental anxiety, you might avoid visiting the dentist until absolutely necessary, and this can mean unnecessary anxiety and discomfort. With routine visits, you can get to know the people providing your care, and get comfortable with the cleaning process.
Ready for your routine dental cleaning and exam? Schedule an appointment by calling 202-833-1111.