If I Brush and Floss Regularly, Do I Still Need a Professional Dental Cleaning?

If I Brush and Floss Regularly, Do I Still Need a Professional Dental Cleaning?

With proper brushing and flossing, you can maintain your teeth and help to avoid decay and gingivitis for years. However, cavities can form in the smallest crevices, and not all problems can be solved with good hygiene. During your professional cleaning, your dentist isn’t just buffing your teeth, but checking for problems like bruxism (grinding), gum disease, or tooth erosion.

At Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, in Washington, DC, Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc provide dental cleanings, preventive care, and restorative care to keep your smile looking and feeling great.

The importance of routine cleanings 

Between busy schedules, lack of dental coverage, and financial concerns, many people don’t visit the dentist unless something is wrong. Dental anxiety can make this problem worse, leading patients to avoid the dentist for years at a time. 

However, even the most diligent brusher is likely to make mistakes, and small cavities can slowly worsen into painful infections right under your nose. The phrase “out of sight, out of mind” definitely applies to your teeth; it’s easy to overlook dental problems if they aren’t easily visible or causing you discomfort. 

Regular appointments with the same dentist help you maintain your teeth in three major ways: 

  1. Early diagnosis, identifying problems before they become painful for you 
  2. Comprehensive cleaning, scraping away stubborn plaque in tight places 
  3. Building a rapport, encouraging you to feel more comfortable and return more often 

What to expect

If it’s been a while since your last cleaning, you might feel anxious about what’s to come. Many patients feel self-conscious and ashamed of their teeth, even if they regularly brush and floss. We promise not to judge the state of your mouth and simply want to help make sure your teeth get cleaned and that your enamel is healthy. 

Our entire team has experience dealing with patients of all ages and backgrounds, and we understand how stressful dental visits can be. During your cleaning, we'll explain each step and keep an eye on your comfort level throughout. 

First, we use a delicate tool to pick away hardened plaque around your gumline. Once your hygienist has carefully scraped your teeth clear of plaque, they’ll thoroughly brush and floss them for you, removing any lingering debris. 

Depending on the amount of plaque buildup, your cleaning can last anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. If you opt for a fluoride treatment to prevent cavities, this will be done last. 

Ready for your cleaning? Schedule an appointment by calling 202-833-1111, or visit our contact page for more information. 

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