Are Dental Cleanings the Most Important Dental Treatment?

Every six months or so, you should visit your dentist for a comprehensive checkup and cleaning. Along with brushing and flossing your teeth twice every day, regular checkups are a well-known factor in good dental health. In many respects, dental checkups and cleanings with your Austin dentist may be the most important professional dental treatment you receive. Periodic cleanings help ensure that bacteria don’t accumulate enough to become a threat, and routine inspections allow Dr. Van Wicklen to detect and treat issues early, should they develop. By preventing dental diseases from forming and maturing, your dental cleaning appointments can help you avoid the need for extensive treatment later down the line.

What are You Preventing?

A few hours after brushing your teeth, perhaps just after eating lunch, you might feel a sticky, uncomfortable film if you run your tongue across the surfaces of your teeth and your gum line. Known as dental plaque, this film is a byproduct of bacteria that naturally inhabit your mouth, and therefore, you can’t prevent it from forming. You can, however, control plaque and bacteria by brushing and flossing your teeth twice every day. When they gather in force, mouth germs produce toxins and acids that lead to gum disease and tooth decay, diseases that can lead to tooth loss if not dealt with promptly. Plaque is formed to protect the bacteria from saliva and your mouth’s defenses, and after about 48 hours, it can calcify into tartar and become impervious to your toothbrush. Only the professional tools and expertise of your dentist can effectively remove tartar from your teeth, along with the threats it can pose to your oral health.

Alternatives to Dental Cleanings

The only actual alternative to regular dental cleanings is to not attend your regular dental cleanings, which doesn’t help your oral health and so isn’t really an alternative at all. Neglecting your routine visits may lead to advanced dental diseases, like tooth decay and gum disease, that can require more involved procedures to treat, such as;

  • Dental fillings (to treat mild to moderate cavities)
  • Root canal therapy (for advanced tooth decay)
  • Dental crowns (to reinforce teeth treated for decay)
  • Periodontal treatment (to help diseased gums heal and reattach to your teeth)
  • Dental implants (to replace teeth that are lost to extreme dental diseases)

About Dr. Steven Van Wicklen:

Since 1985, Dr. Steven Van Wicklen has been providing expert cosmetic and restorative dentistry services to patients and families in Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next dental consultation, call our office today at (512) 448-3131.