If you haven’t been paying a visit to your Plano dentist at least every six months, you should be. Semiannual professional cleanings are essential to maintaining your oral health and they’ll keep your teeth looking their best.

You may think that regular brushing and flossing are sufficient to keep your mouth clean and healthy, but that’s not the case. Over time, a sticky film called plaque builds up on your teeth, regardless of how often you brush and floss. Eventually, the plaque hardens into a substance called tartar or calculus, which can only be removed through a professional cleaning.

Plaque and tartar contain harmful bacteria that promote tooth decay and gum disease. When left untreated, those conditions can lead to the loss of teeth and gums. Regular professional cleanings with your dentist help to combat that bacteria and prevent the problems it can cause.

When your teeth are cleaned at a dentist appointment, the hygienist uses special tools to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth. These tools help the hygienist to clean the teeth more thoroughly than brushing alone can. The hygienist also has better access to the hard-to-reach spots in the mouth, which might not get the attention they need from routine daily brushing.

The regular checkups that take place at the same time as professional cleanings also give the dentist an opportunity to identify any concerns, such as cavities and even oral cancer. When these issues are spotted earlier, it’s easier for the dentist to treat them. In the case of oral cancer, early diagnosis may be a lifesaving outcome.

For a relatively small group of patients, even semiannual cleanings may be insufficient to keep plaque at bay. Certain genetic and environmental factors may cause plaque to build up more quickly in some patients, who may need to visit the dentist every three or four months to keep their mouths adequately clean.

Your home oral hygiene routine can complement the professional cleaning process. If you are diligent about brushing and flossing, your professional cleanings are likely to take less time because there should not be a large amount of tartar to remove from the teeth.

Please contact Plano Smile Studio at 972-398-2550 to schedule your next dental exam and professional cleaning.