Have you been missing dental appointments? Are you using tooth sensitivity as an excuse not to go to the dentist?
While the sudden pain associated with tooth sensitivity is no fun, it could save your life if you act fast. This is because studies show that there is a link between dental cleanings and overall health. Missing appointments doesn’t only affect your smile, it could endanger your health.
So rather than live in fear of overblown bad news from the dentist, you should embrace the value of dental cleanings as protection for your overall health. Keep reading below to know more.
- 1 What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
- 2 What Is Good Oral Health Connected To?
- 3 How Do I Find the Right Dentist?
- 4 Never Skip Your Dental Cleanings
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
During a cleaning, your dentist or hygienist will use special instruments to remove tartar and plaque from your teeth and gums. They will also polish your teeth and may even floss them for you.
But what is plaque and what is tartar?
Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If this is not removed, it hardens and turns into tartar (calculus). On the other hand, tartar can only be removed by a dental hygienist or dentist.
Plaque and tartar lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can damage the bone supporting the teeth. And tooth decay is the destruction of the tooth enamel, which is the hard, outer coating of the teeth. Both of these can eventually lead to other health problems.
What Is Good Oral Health Connected To?
There are specific parts of your overall health that is affected when you neglect your oral health and allow the build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Take a look at the list below to keep yourself informed about the importance of dental cleanings.
Poor oral health has been linked to a variety of health problems, including heart disease. Studies have found that people with gum disease are more likely to develop heart disease than those with healthy gums.
While the exact mechanism is not known, it is believed that inflammation plays a role. In particular, plaque can cause inflammation of the gums.
Your Chances of Getting Diabetes
It is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and poor dental hygiene is a contributing factor. Research has shown that people with diabetes who have regular dental cleanings are more likely to have better blood sugar control.
This is likely because dental cleanings remove bacteria from the mouth. If not removed, these bacteria can then lead to infection. Infections can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.
Your Brain Health
While more research is needed, there is some evidence to suggest that there may be a link between dental cleanings and brain health. One study found that people who frequently go to dental cleanings are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
While the exact reason for this is not known, it is believed that the removal of plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums may help to prevent the build-up of harmful substances in the brain.
Your Chances of Getting Cancer
Cancerous growths in the mouth can often be caught early through routine dental cleanings. This can save your life. Your dentist might catch it early on or prevent it before it even becomes a big issue.
Dental cleanings can also help improve fertility. Couples who undergo regular dental cleanings have a higher chance of conceiving than those who do not.
How Do I Find the Right Dentist?
Now that you know the benefits of good oral hygiene, it’s important to find a dentist that you feel comfortable with. Having a dentist you trust ensures that you will be more likely to consistently go to your cleanings.
But it can be hard to find the right dentist. So if you don’t know where to start check out some tips below.
Do Your Research
When it comes to finding the right dentist, research is key. You should start by asking trusted family and friends for recommendations. You can also search online for a “Dentist near me” and look through the results. Check out their online reviews to get a feel for each dentist’s style and bedside manner.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you have a few names, you can begin to narrow down your options by asking each dentist a few key questions.
What are the dentist’s qualifications and experience? Make sure you are comfortable with the level of training and experience your potential dentist has.
What are the dentist’s hours of operation? This is important to know in advance, in case you need to schedule appointments around work or school.
What is the dentist’s office policy on missed appointments? This will help you know what to expect if you need to reschedule or cancel an appointment.
Asking these questions will help you narrow down your choices and find the dentist that is the best fit for you and your family.
Consider Their Location, Cost, and Services
Before you make your final decision, you should consider the dentist’s location, cost, and services.
Location is important because you want to be able to easily get to your dentist. Cost is important because you want to be able to afford your dental care. Services are important because you want to make sure your dentist offers the services you need.
Never Skip Your Dental Cleanings
Getting dental cleanings regularly can help improve your overall health. It removes bacteria and plaque from your teeth and gums, which can lead to gum disease and other health problems.
It’s not all about having a great smile. Protecting your teeth also means protecting your heart, lessening your chances of diabetes, improving your brain health, lessening your risk of getting cancer, and helping fertility.
So if you want to help improve your overall health, find a good dentist and schedule regular dental cleanings.
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