7 Reasons My Rockford Dentist Recommends Cleaning Every 6 Months
Rockford dentist cares deeply about the health of your teeth and gums. That’s why they recommend professional cleanings every six months – to help prevent issues and keep your smile looking its best. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly is one of the most important things you can do for oral health. We will go over why our Rockford dentist recommends cleanings every 6. months.
Over time, plaque builds up on your teeth if not removed by brushing and flossing. You can’t always see or feel this plaque, but it wreaks havoc on your dental health. Plaque is filled with bacteria that produce acids that start breaking down tooth enamel and irritating gums.
1. Prevent Cavities and Tooth Decay
Cavities and tooth decay happen when plaque builds up on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. If allowed to accumulate, these bacteria digest sugars and carbs in food and drink, forming acids as a byproduct.
- These plaque acids go on to dissolve the enamel surfaces of teeth in a process known as demineralization. This erosion creates tiny holes and cracks that grow bigger over time, forming full cavities and decay. The bacteria may eventually reach the tender dentin layer under the enamel or even infect the inner tooth pulp.
- This process only happens after some time. Decay occurs gradually as plaque thickens over days, weeks, and months if teeth are not properly cleaned. That’s why frequent professional cleanings are so important.
- Your Rockford dentist will thoroughly remove plaque buildup, scrub away staining, and smooth areas where decay may have started nibbling at the enamel. Polishing treatments help protect and strengthen enamel as well. This disrupts the acidic/decay, buying more time between needed cleanings.
- Scheduling a cleaning every six months provides enough buffer to check for plaque accumulation and early signs of decay before they get out of control. Then, decay and cavity progression can be halted via thorough professional cleaning and remineralization treatments.
2. Catch Issues Early
In addition to removing harmful plaque buildup, regular dental cleanings allow your Rockford dentist to catch minor problems before they become advanced, painful issues requiring complex treatments.
During your cleaning appointment, your dentist will carefully examine your teeth, gums, tongue, palate, and more, looking for subtle signs of dental concerns. These include:
Minor Areas of Tooth Decay:
Your dentist will methodically scan all surfaces of your teeth under bright light and magnification, feeling gently with a dental probe. They check for tiny areas of demineralization or other irregular spots indicating early, non-painful decay. Catching decays when they are still microscopic helps prevent large cavities.
Gum Irritation or Recession:
Your dentist also examines the areas where your gums meet your teeth, looking for the earliest signs of gum inflammation or slight pulling back of the gums from the tooth roots (recession). Slight redness, swelling, gum texture or contour changes, and increased spaces between teeth indicate early-stage gum disease that is still reversible.
3. Changes in Existing Dental Work
Existing restorations like composites, crowns, bridges, and implants undergo normal wear with aging but can also signal underlying issues. Your dentist checks closely for things like cracks, lifting edges, discoloration, swelling of gums around crowns, food impaction around bridges, and loosening of implants. Catching minor changes means repairs and replacement happen under ideal, controlled conditions before catastrophic failure or pain occurs. Sometimes patients need deep dental cleanings, but as long as you visit your dentist regularly, you should not need a deep cleaning.
Abnormal Wear Patterns:
Dentists check the biting and chewing surfaces of teeth for irregular wear, like extra thinning, chips, or cupping of the enamel on only some teeth. Localized enamel loss can indicate poor bite alignment that puts too much force on some teeth or tooth-grinding issues. Addressing uneven wear early on helps prevent fractures, nerve damage, jaw pain, and more severe problems.
Cracks in Enamel:
Tiny cracks and craze lines can form in enamel as part of normal aging or following trauma. But more significantly, deeper cracks jeopardize the structural integrity of teeth. Your dentist examines areas around existing restorations and the edges of teeth for any dark lines indicating subsurface cracks that could worsen without protective treatment. Finding cracks early makes stabilization treatment more straightforward.
Your Rockford dentist also screens for oral cancer at checkups. Catching cancer early dramatically improves outcomes.
Finally, X-rays taken at cleaning visits can reveal issues below the surface before you feel any pain, like:
Tiny Areas of Decay Between Teeth:
Dentists will periodically take bitewing X-rays that give clear views between back teeth that are otherwise difficult to visualize directly. X-rays show decay as darker spotting in enamel and dentin, indicating mineral content loss. Your dentist can detect and monitor tiny areas of interdental decay through X-rays before their expansion causes discomfort.
4. Changes and Infection in Tooth Roots or Gums
In addition to crown issues, X-rays allow dentists to examine below the gumline for abnormalities forming in tooth roots and surrounding bone. Darkening at the tip of roots indicates inflammatory resorption. Dark areas around root tips signal infection. Widening of the tooth’s bony socket also shows early-stage periodontal disease progression. Identifying root and bone issues early on with X-ray imaging prevents extensive surgery later.
Loss of Supporting Jawbone:
Over time, missing teeth, gum recession, and periodontal disease can lead to gradual loss of the bony sockets surrounding teeth. This may destabilize teeth, alter facial dimensions, or cause loose denture fit over time. X-rays taken every few years allow dentists to measure jawbone height and density changes to intervene with bone grafts before significant collateral damage occurs.
Catching problems early is crucial, while treatments are more accessible and affordable. Small areas of decay can be treated with simple fillings. Minor gum disease is reversed with non-surgical treatments. Even minor signs of abnormal dental wear, cracks, or changes can lead to protective treatments that stave off significant damage.
Booking your cleanings every six months makes it possible to diagnose and get a jump start on issues while they are still minor and easily treatable. This prevents small problems from ballooning into dental emergencies down the road.
5. Freshen Breath
A common byproduct of plaque buildup and gum inflammation is foul-smelling lousy breath. The bacteria in plaque and tartar produce smelly sulfur compounds as they feed on food debris and sugars. Gingivitis (early gum disease) also releases an unpleasant rotten egg odor.
- Over time, these smelly waste products make their way into every crevice of your mouth, coating the back of your tongue, between teeth, along the gum line, and anywhere else plaque accumulates. No amount of minty gum or mouthwash can overpower these odors for long.
- A professional dental cleaning removes plaque and tartar from the root surfaces. Your hygienist will also use special tools to gently scrape away bacteria from the tongue and scrub decay residue from pits and crevices. This leaves your entire mouth fresh, clean, and odor-free.
- Plus, most dental offices finish cleanings with a fluoride paste polish that makes your mouth minty and unique. You’ll walk out with “just left the Rockford dentist” fresh breath that lasts for weeks. Going in for regular cleanings every six months means maintaining pleasant, clean breath for months. No more embarrassing odors when you lean in to chat with someone!
- Booking that next visit well before you’re due also ensures cleaning delays don’t allow the stinky breath to return. Schedule your next cleaning today for excellent clean-mouth confidence!
6. Protect Your Overall Health
- It’s easy to think of oral health as somehow separate from the rest of your body. But your mouth is closely integrated with your overall physical well-being. Allowing poor oral health to develop can end up affecting far more than just your teeth and gums.
- Gum disease allows bacteria and inflammation to build up under your gum line. This provides an entry point for germs to spread through your bloodstream and migrate all over your body.
Research shows links between poor oral health and developing primary medical conditions like:
Heart Disease and Stroke Due to Inflamed Arteries:
Bacteria from gum inflammation can enter the bloodstream and travel to constrict arteries around the heart, contributing to plaque blockages. Gum bacteria have even been found in artery-clogging plaques. This inflammation also makes blood stickier and more prone to clotting, raising stroke risks. People with periodontal disease have double the risk of both fatal heart attacks and ischemic strokes. Treating gum issues may cut cardiovascular risks.
Diabetes Which is Harder to Control with Gum Inflammation:
The inflammation of chronic gum disease makes diabetes much more challenging to control. Gum disease interferes with blood glucose regulation. Gum infections can also increase bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in people with diabetes. In turn, the high blood sugar levels from uncontrolled diabetes provide the perfect environment for gum infections to thrive. Controlling oral bacteria and inflammation is critical for people with diabetes.
Alzheimer’s Disease Potentially Connected to Gum Bacteria
Studies are also making an intriguing connection between chronic gum infections and eventual Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers found Alzheimer’s patients had significantly higher oral Treponema bacteria associated with periodontal disease. This bacteria was also found in amyloid beta plaques within Alzheimer’s brains, suggesting gum infections could open a pathway for neurological spread. More research on possible gum disease prevention is underway, reducing future dementia risk.
Complications with Pregnancy When Gum Disease Goes Unchecked:
Hormonal changes make pregnant women especially susceptible to gum inflammation, and then gum bacteria can further stimulate inflammatory reactions, leading to premature births or underweight babies. Mothers with severe gum disease are up to eight times more likely to deliver preterm infants. Controlling oral hygiene is vital before and throughout pregnancy.
- Maintaining diligent oral hygiene and professional cleaning appointments every six months protects against these concerning health impacts. Cleanings control bacteria, reduce inflammation, and stabilize any early gum recession. Your Rockford dentist can also screen for early signs of medical issues and make referrals to physicians Rockford dentist when appropriate.
- Good checkups and cleanings reinforce all the hard work you put into daily oral care. And this total care plan keeps your whole body healthier as a result. Be sure to schedule your next visit before you have a painful emergency. Regular professional cleanings support healthy teeth and gums and your overall well-being.
7. Keep Your Smile Sparkling
Let’s remember one of the most straightforward reasons to get regular dental cleanings – having clean, bright teeth looks fantastic! A glowing, healthy smile does wonders for your appearance and self-confidence.
- Over time, coffee, tea, red wine, and other foods gradually stain and dull the enamel surfaces of your teeth. And however diligent you are about brushing and flossing, some discoloration eventually builds up.
- Tartar and plaque also give teeth a yellowish, cloudy appearance that daily oral hygiene can’t fix. And nothing ruins the look of a beautiful smile faster than chunks of visible crud and debris stuck between teeth!
- However, your dental hygienist has specialized tools and polishing pastes explicitly designed to remove tough stains and return natural luster and brightness to teeth enamel. Your smile will look whiter and transparent in just one regular cleaning appointment.
- The little boost in confidence from catching a glimpse of your fresh, sparkling smile after a good cleaning is fantastic. And going in for cleanings every six months means you get to enjoy months of beautiful teeth in a row.
- When it comes down to it, everyone wants a smile they can be proud to show off. So take good care of those pearly whites and book your next cleaning to keep your smile looking its absolute best! Dazzling Teeth is just a scheduling call away.
Scheduling professional teeth cleanings with your Rockford dentist every six months is one of the best things you can do for the health and appearance of your smile.
Getting in for regular cleanings every six months provides all sorts of oral health benefits:
- Halting existing decay and preventing new cavities from forming
- Catching any concerning dental issues while they are still minor
- Eliminating lousy breath and leaving you with months of fresh breath
- Supporting your overall physical health by controlling oral bacteria
- Brightening, whitening, and removing stains for a glowing smile
Remember to book your next visit before the six-month mark to ensure you stay within a reasonable distance between appointments. Gaps between cleanings allow damaging plaque and tartar to reaccumulate. They also increase the likelihood of new decay taking hold or minor dental issues worsening undetected.
So be sure to put a reminder on your calendar about a week before you expect to be due for cleaning. Then, call your caring Rockford dentistry office immediately to secure your next six-month cleaning slot. Protecting your oral health through professional care every six months provides enormous dividends for your teeth and gums’ health and visual appeal.
Don’t leave your dental health to chance or wait for worsening issues. Take control and call your Rockford dentist’s office today to schedule your next essential teeth cleaning! Consistent 6-month cleanings are the key to a confident, radiant smile that will make others envious.