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5 Signs You Might Need a Dental Cleaning
March 13, 2024

Man getting dental cleaning.

When was the last time you had a dental cleaning? If you’re scratching your head trying to remember, it’s probably been too long. Dental cleanings are an integral part of maintaining good oral health, yet they are often overlooked or postponed.

Why Dental Cleanings Are Important

Dental cleanings go beyond just polishing your teeth to brighten your smile. They are crucial for preventing gum disease, removing plaque and tartar buildup, and identifying potential issues before they become serious problems.

During a cleaning, dental professionals use specialized tools to clean areas of your mouth that regular brushing and flossing might miss. This not only helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease but can also have implications for your broader health since poor oral hygiene has been linked to conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Regular cleanings can catch issues early, saving you time, discomfort, and money in the long run.

Signs You Need a Cleaning

Regular cleanings can prevent many dental issues, keeping your smile bright and healthy. But how do you know when it’s time to book that appointment? Here are five signs that you might need a dental cleaning.

Visible Tartar Buildup

Plaque that isn’t removed by brushing and flossing can harden into tartar, a calcified material that discolors teeth and can lead to gum disease. Tartar can’t be removed with a toothbrush; it requires professional tools. If you notice a yellow, white, or brown buildup on your teeth, especially near the gum line, it’s time for a cleaning.

Bleeding or Swollen Gums

Gums should be pink and firm, but not swollen, tender, or prone to bleeding. If your gums tend to bleed when brushing or flossing, it could be a sign of gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. A dental cleaning can help reverse this condition and restore your gums to health. You certainly do not want to let bleeding or swollen gums go on too long without dental care, as more severe gum disease can become irreversible.

Bad Breath

Persistent bad breath, aka halitosis, can be extremely embarrassing and socially isolating. While there are many causes of bad breath, one of the most common is the buildup of bacteria in the mouth. A thorough dental cleaning can remove these odor-causing bacteria and give you fresher breath, even when brushing and flossing regularly aren’t cutting it.

Signs of Tooth Decay

If you pain when eating hot or cold foods, discoloration, or tooth aches, these could be signs of tooth decay. Regular cleanings can help prevent decay from progressing by clearing away plaque and tartar that contribute to cavity formation. Additionally, treating cavities early can help you to avoid more complex dental interventions.

It’s Been 6 Months or Longer Since Your Last Cleaning

Even if you don’t have any visible signs of dental issues, it’s important to visit your dentist for a cleaning every six months. These regular visits are crucial for not only cleaning your teeth but also for checking for any potential issues that you may not notice or feel. Preventive care is the best way to keep your oral health in check and avoid more serious and costly procedures down the line.

Regular dental cleanings are a key component of oral health. They offer you preventive care that will save you from more significant discomfort and costly treatments down the line and cleaning away the plaque and tartar that lead to decay and contribute to gum disease.

If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned above, or if it’s simply been a while since your last visit, it’s time. Book your dental cleaning appointment today!


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