How Often Should I Have a Professional Dental Cleaning?

The common belief is that you should visit your dental hygienist and have a professional tooth cleaning every six months.

The purpose of a professional cleaning is to eliminate both hard and soft deposits (plaque and tartar) from your teeth, which harbor bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. A professional dental cleaning also removes the stain that accumulates from foods and beverages. The stain not only makes your teeth look darker, but also creates a rough surface that the bacteria can stick to.

If you have a low risk for cavities and gum disease in combination with keeping your teeth clean effectively at home, then having a professional cleaning twice a year is sufficient. However, for patients who have a higher risk for cavities or gum disease one of the most effective methods of prevention is to have a professional tooth cleaning more often to reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Professional cleanings may be recommended three or more times per year. We will look at your individual risk factors and discuss an interval for professional tooth cleanings that we think will keep your teeth healthy.

Do I Really Have to Floss Every Day?

Yes! And here’s why:

  • Flossing promotes cavity prevention.
  • According to mouthhealthy.org, a resource of the American Dental Association, “It is extremely important to floss because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.”
  • Flossing prevents gum disease. If you fail to floss on a daily basis, you are creating an environment in your mouth that is conducive to developing gingivitis and later periodontitis. WebMD.com states the outcome clearly: “Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.”

What Type of Toothbrush Should I Use?

We recommend an electric toothbrush such as Sonicare for all of our adult patients and for children who can handle them with adult supervision. However, if you prefer the manual kind, always choose one with soft bristles.

How Often Should X-Rays Be Taken and Do I Really Need Them?

The answer to how often x-rays need to be taken will be different depending on the purpose of the x-ray. The frequency also varies depending upon your personal dental risk factors. Patients who have a higher risk of gum disease will have the x-rays taken to diagnose the bone levels around the teeth more frequently. In the same way patients who get cavities more often should have the x-rays that show the areas between teeth called Bitewings taken more often. Usually the concern is about radiation exposure.

All modern digital dental x-rays expose you to very low levels of radiation. we receive more radiation sitting and watching television for a few hours. The risks of not having the x-rays taken can be significant like a cavity that grows and causes the loss of a tooth or the need for a root canal, or an infection around the root of a tooth that goes untreated. We are always happy to talk about the x-rays we are recommending, why we think they are in your best interest and the pros and cons of taking them versus waiting.

How can I have Whiter Teeth?

Bleaching is one of the most immediate, simplest, and safest ways to improve the impact of your smile! We offer three different options for tooth bleaching. Please call our office for a free consultation so that we can determine which of these suits you!

What should I do if I have an emergency and your office is closed?

Unfortunately, emergencies don’t always happen during normal business hours! If one should arise, please call the office and you will be prompted on how to reach Dr. Arthur. She always makes every effort to be available. However, if you are experiencing swelling and fever and cannot reach her, it’s important that you go to the emergency room ASAP.

My temporary crown came out. What should I do?

The best thing to do is to wrap it up or place it safely in a container and call our office so that we can re-cement it. The temporary crown is very important as it protects the underlying tooth and maintains the proper dimensions needed for the permanent crown that is being fabricated by the laboratory. If you cannot come in, temporary dental cement can be purchased at most pharmacies. If you decide to re-fix a crown with temporary cement by yourself, you must take great care not to put any pressure on it whilst eating or cleaning your teeth since it is very easily dislodged. DO NOT be tempted to use a product like “super glue” or any other adhesive—not only is this dangerous, it likely will ruin the crown and damage your tooth.

Do you accept my insurance?

Most Traditional Indemnity Plans and PPO plans are accepted by Arthur Dental Group. We are happy to file the necessary forms to see that you receive the full benefits of your coverage; however, we make no guarantee of any estimated coverage. We will do everything possible to see that you receive the full benefits of your policy. Please call our office for more information.