Regular Dental Cleanings Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay
Keeping your teeth clean and healthy is one of the most important things you can do for your long-term dental health and function — and even your overall health and well-being. When tooth decay begins, it can progress quickly and lead to pain, difficulty eating, the loss of a tooth, and — in some cases — the need for expensive and complex treatments and procedures. To avoid these unwanted events, it is critical to maintain good at-home oral and dental hygiene paired with your routine in-office dental cleanings and exams. Here, you’ll find helpful information on the importance of dental cleanings from our knowledgeable Fairfax, VA, dental team at Contemporary Dentistry, including what to expect during your cleaning appointment and how often you should schedule your visits.
How does tooth decay happen?
Tooth decay begins as a result of the buildup of plaque and tartar on the surface of the tooth and/or between the teeth, which may be due to poor dental and oral hygiene, the natural structure of the patient’s tooth, and other factors. When the buildup progresses, the tooth can begin to decay, causing cavities and other problems. Eventually, this can affect the inner structures of the tooth and cause infection and other more serious complications that may require a root canal, tooth extraction, and other extensive procedures.
How can I prevent tooth decay?
One of the best ways to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and other dental problems is to keep up with your regular in-office dental exams and cleanings while maintaining an appropriate at-home dental hygiene routine, including:
- Brush and floss twice daily
- Use a mouthwash or rinse as directed
- Minimize consumption of sugary foods and beverages
- Take advantage of fluoride treatments and other treatment recommendations from your dentist
With these healthy habits and routines, you can discourage the buildup of plaque and tartar that leads to tooth decay and keep your teeth healthy for longer. Additionally, you can help to maintain the aesthetic appearance and structural integrity of your smile by avoiding staining food and beverages, not smoking, refraining from chewing ice and other hard objects, and wearing a protective mouthguard during sports and while sleeping.
What happens during a cleaning appointment at the dentist?
Patient comfort and health are among our top priorities at Contemporary Dentistry, and we take great care to ensure your experience is an enjoyable and productive one. Depending on your specific needs, your dental cleaning may involve the use of specialized instruments to break up plaque and tartar, hand scaling to address plaque and tartar on each tooth individually, flossing, and polishing. In some cases, we may recommend a fluoride treatment for added protection, and our team will discuss any problems that may be found during your dental exam and cleaning. If needed, dental x-rays may also be performed at the time of your appointment.
How often do I need to go to the dentist?
For the majority of patients, biannual (twice yearly) appointments are recommended for dental exams and cleanings. For patients with known dental issues, certain types of restorations, and other unique case factors, our team may recommend more frequent visits. We will work closely with you to ensure your dental cleaning schedule is an appropriate and effective solution for helping preserve a healthy, strong smile over time.
Keep your smile in top-notch shape with Fairfax, VA, dental cleanings twice per year
Even if your teeth are healthy and you’ve never had a cavity, it is still essential to continue your regular cleaning and dental exam schedule to help prevent tooth decay and catch potential issues before they become more severe. Give yourself the gift of dental health and wellness by calling Contemporary Dentistry to schedule your dental cleaning with our exceptional team of Fairfax, VA, dentists today.