As a Dentist, and a regular blogger, obviously we talk a great deal about teeth. In fact, it’s safe to say it’s pretty much our only topic of conversation! So why are we asking about oil changes today? The truth is we’re not but hey it’s a catchy title right? Seriously though, what we ARE asking about today is “how often do you clean your teeth?” Of course we hope the answer is daily but here is what we’re really asking: in addition to regular brushing (which we hope you are doing a minimum 2x per day) how often are you scheduling a deep clean? A teeth cleaning is where trouble is first identified. Done by a professional, it’s how we keep on top of (or indeed, ahead of) any potential problems. It’s really a lot like preventative maintenance for your car. By changing the oil and rotating the tires, generally your car will last a whole lot longer and since teeth are for life, isn’t that what we want for our teeth too?
Having your teeth cleaned by a Dentist or a Dental Hygienist, a key member of the Brinkley Dental Team, is a crucial part of your ongoing health care regime. How often they are cleaned will depend on several factors including your overall health, any prior problems with your teeth, your age and the general condition of your mouth and gums. Here are a few points for your consideration:
- Overall teeth and health (as discussed in prior blogs) go hand in hand. Your teeth might show signs of an ongoing health condition such as heart disease or Crohn’s disease. They are often the first clue that something isn’t quite right in your body and a regularly scheduled cleaning can help identify areas of concern. If there are issues brewing in the mouth, it could be a sign of something brewing elsewhere.
- With chronic health conditions like Crohn’s (or even serious health concerns like Cancer) teeth can be impacted by a variety of factors such as drugs used in treatment or the excess stomach acids from gastrointestinal disease. The enamel could suffer damage. Regular cleanings can both correct existing problems and help prevent further damage.
- If you have had problem teeth in the past (cavities, problems with bleeding gums etc) then a regular cleaning is crucial to helping keep teeth clean, preventing plaque build up, identifying potential problem areas before they get out of control and aiding your Dentist in helping to keep your mouth and teeth whole and healthy.
- You might wonder if age is an important determinant in how often you should have your teeth cleaned. Certainly, when children are younger, they are less likely to always brush their teeth properly and so a visit every six months for a proper cleaning is a good idea. As we get older, it’s possible you could “get away” with a once a year cleaning but the reality is this scenario might only work for the “perfect patient” one who doesn’t smoke, drink excessive alcohol, someone who eats healthy and brushes regularly. Are you “perfect?” Most of us aren’t! So realistically, every 6 months is a good timeframe for just about everyone in terms of regular cleanings. As we age, entering the senior years, these regularly scheduled cleanings become even more important.
- The overall condition of your teeth. If you’ve had problem teeth your whole life, “soft” teeth, prone to cavities or other concerns, a regular cleaning, possibly even 3 to 4x per year, is crucial.
So there you have it – clean your teeth every day and then get them cleaned every six months. Like the oil in your car, eventually everything gets old, breaks down a little bit and just doesn’t work as efficiently as it could. That means it’s time for a change. It’s preventative maintenance – for your mouth! For more information on your teeth and good oral hygiene habits, book a visit at our Brampton office where it would be our pleasure to assist you. In the meantime, as always, “don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”