The importance of good oral hygiene for good oral health is well known. At home we all clean off plaque (which is sticky but soft) with our toothbrushes and floss. Unfortunately, plaque forms all day and all night and some of it will set hard due to minerals in our saliva. This hard (mineralised) plaque is called tartar and cannot be removed with our toothbrushes or floss. Tartar creates ledges at your gum line which shelter plaque bacteria from your cleaning efforts. These plaque bacteria cause gum disease and cavities. Therefore, it is recommended to have regular professional dental cleans. At home, it is also very difficult for us to see all the nooks and crannies of our own mouths which can lead to areas of stagnation of plaque and even food debris. Regular visits to have your teeth cleaned as determined by your dentist, help keep your gums healthy and reduce the risk of cavities.
Typically, dentists advise a professional clean every six months. However, if someone has gum disease, we then usually recommend a professional clean every three months. Patients with gum disease are often very sensitive to plaque bacteria, so they need extra help until the disease has resolved. If you have sensitive teeth, or you are being treated for gum disease an anaesthetic can be used at your cleaning visits: you can discuss this with your dentist before cleaning. Additional to the health benefits, professional cleaning is the best way to keep your smile bright and free from stains.
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