By Last Updated: October 6, 2023

At Springbank Hill Dental, we always emphasize the importance of preventive dentistry when it comes to improving and maintaining your oral health. Preventive dentistry plays a crucial role in keeping tooth decay and gum disease at bay by keeping the mouth clean and healthy. 

Routine dental check-ups and teeth cleaning are among the preventive dental treatments. Most dentists recommend comprehensive check-ups and professional teeth cleaning to be done every 6 months. This is a good rule of thumb but it does not apply to everyone. It still depends on your overall oral hygiene. 

Those who follow a good at-home hygiene care routine and can maintain their oral health well can make do with annual visits for their routine prophylaxis. However, those with gum and periodontal disease may need to visit at least every 4 months for care and progress checks.

Importance of Dental Check-up and Teeth Cleaning

Routine visits for check-ups and cleaning can benefit patients in many ways, including:

  • Prevents bad breath and tooth decay
  • Allows your dentist to monitor existing oral concerns
  • Keeps gum disease at bay
  • Prevents irreversible periodontal disease and possible tooth loss
  • Helps with early diagnosis and treatment of dental diseases
  • Examines the mouth for budding signs of oral cancers
  • Maintains a healthy and bright smile

What happens during a dental check-up and cleaning?

Comprehensive dental check-up

First, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, tongue, cheek, lips, and jaws. Your dental history may also be discussed so your dentist can know more about your specific oral health needs.

Teeth scaling

Then, using an ultrasonic scaler, plaque, tartar, food debris, and other irritants are scraped from all tooth surfaces. This can reach all nooks and crannies of the mouth to remove bacteria-causing dental diseases.

Teeth polishing

Afterwards, using a cleaning paste and a brush, the teeth are polished to lift off surface stains. This can brighten the teeth to give you a more confident smile.

Fluoride treatment

Lastly, fluoride is applied on the teeth to make it more resistant to tooth decay. This is recommended especially for children who are more prone to cavities.

For patients with dental concerns such as tooth decay, gingivitis, or dental infection, a treatment plan is personalized for you to address these and help restore your oral health. Patient education is also given where your dentist will discuss an effective home care regimen, such as proper teeth cleaning, so you can better take care of your smile.

Gum Disease and Preventive Dentistry

Despite being highly preventable, gum disease is among the most common dental problems. Gum disease or gingivitis occurs when the gums become irritated with plaque, bacteria, and other debris. This results in red, painful, inflamed, and easily bleeding gums.

Gum disease is a reversible condition. But if left untreated for a long time, it will progress to irreversible periodontal disease which can harm the bones surrounding the teeth and cause tooth loss.

How does gum disease start?

Gum disease begins when there is plaque accumulation or bacteria build-up along or beneath the gum line. Over time, these will irritate the gums and cause inflammation. So, these irritants must be removed before they cause further problems. This is where routine dental cleaning can help.

How can you prevent gum disease?

While at-home hygiene care such as proper toothbrushing and flossing are crucial to oral health, there are still some areas of the mouth that are quite hard to clean. This includes the back teeth or the molars and underneath the gumline. Usually, your toothbrush won’t be able to reach these areas.

However, teeth cleaning at the dentist’s office involves a whole mouth clean, including beneath the gums, to remove all irritants that may cause gum disease. Professional dental cleaning uses a high-frequency ultrasonic scaler that vibrates against the tooth surface to remove soft and hard debris. Then, the teeth are buffed with a polisher to smoothen all areas where plaque can easily accumulate.

How often should teeth cleaning be done?

If you are suffering from gum or periodontal disease, quarterly visits are recommended for thorough cleaning and progress checks. This prevents plaque accumulation. Eventually, when the situation is properly managed and your gums are looking healthier, your dentist may reduce the frequency of visits.

Ultimately, your annual visits for teeth cleaning depend on any existing oral health concerns and how your oral hygiene is maintained.

How often should a child see a dentist?

Children have yet to maintain a good hygiene routine, so they must visit the dentist more often for professional oral health guidance as they develop. Also, as the milk teeth come off and the adult teeth emerge, frequent check-ups ensure that the teeth will be aligned properly and the smile will remain beautiful and healthy.

A good relationship between your child and the dentist also helps prevent dental anxiety. This happens to children with bad experiences with the dentist. Frequent visits for routine preventive dentistry encourage a fun and positive environment for your children which can help them as they grow older.

How often should an adult see the dentist?

While a twice-a-year, every 6-month visit is a good marker for how often you should visit the dentist, it is not always the case as every patient is a different case. This is why a proper consultation with your dentist is important. They will identify existing problems and create a treatment plan specifically for you and your oral health goals, including helping you understand how often you should see your dentist.

Preventive Dentistry with Springbank Hill Dental

As they say, prevention is better than cure. This applies to your dental health as well. With preventive dental care such as routine check-ups and cleaning, we can maintain your oral health to avoid further problems.

Remember that tooth decay is the leading dental disease and it is irreversible. Depending on how large it is, it requires dental fillings or a root canal to restore your tooth. Such is with gum disease which may need extensive teeth cleaning to reverse it.

With a good preventive dental routine in place, we can stop such oral problems from happening and focus on keeping your smile the healthiest it can be.

If it has been a while since you last had your dental check-up and teeth cleaning, book an appointment today with us at Springbank Hill and let us get you back on track for your healthy smile journey!