What’s Good for Your Teeth is Good For Your Body: Why Dental Cleanings and Exams Matter
Understanding the Importance of Dental Cleanings & Exams
Clean teeth make for a pretty smile, but surely, they’re not important for your overall health, right? Well, if you read the title of this article, you might suspect the truth — they are!
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends visiting the dentist every six months for an exam and a cleaning. Why is this the case?
Bad Teeth Means Poor Health
To be clear, when we say “bad teeth,” we mean teeth that are unhealthy. Slightly crooked teeth aren’t necessarily unhealthy, but cavity-ridden teeth are.
Poor oral health can lead to a host of problems such as:
- Cardiovascular Disease: Heart disease, strokes, and clogged arteries can be aggravated by the bacteria in your mouth.
- Respiratory Infections: Bacteria from swollen gums and teeth can make their way to the lungs and then the bloodstream, leading to respiratory infections and even pneumonia.
- Pregnancy Complications: Low birth weight and premature birth have been linked to periodontitis.
- Endocarditis: Germs from your mouth can spread through your bloodstream to the lining of your heart.
In addition, poor mouth hygiene can be aggravated by conditions such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s.
I’m Convinced! What Exactly Are Dental Exams?
At a dental exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will examine your mouth for any signs of problems or abnormalities. This may involve X-rays to look under the surface for any issues with your roots or jaw.
Catching things like infections and cavities early keeps you from experiencing more severe complications down the road.
There are a few specific things that dentists may do during your exam:
- Assess your risk of tooth decay or disease
- Check your bite alignment
- Eliminate stains or other deposits
- Show you how to properly clean your teeth
Your dentist or hygienist may also ask questions directly related to your tooth health, including questions about your diet, medications, and overall health.
What Are Dental Cleanings?
During a dental cleaning, the dentist or hygienist will remove built-up plaque and tartar from your teeth and around your gum line. They’ll use a small mirror and tools to physically remove the unwanted substances.
This process is followed by gritty toothpaste and an electric, high-powered brush. Usually, you can choose your flavor, too! The toothpaste is abrasive, so this particular brushing needs to happen only twice a year.
Then comes the flossing. This gets rid of any deposits between the teeth that can lead to problems, as well as any leftover plaque and toothpaste from the previous steps.
Finally, you can rinse.
Dental Cleanings and Exams at Your Friendly Shelby Township Dentist
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist for your cleaning, then it’s time to visit Dr. Timothy Roney DDS & Associates. We make the cleaning process as quick and pleasant as possible.
For a cleaning that will leave you with shiny, sparkling teeth and an exam that will identify problems before they get worse, contact us right away!