Even the healthiest teeth need a professional clean.

Taking a proactive approach to your dental care can set the stage for a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Regular dental cleanings are an important part of this process. Even if your teeth are in great shape, a professional dental exam can help identify any early problems and keep your smile in top condition. Today, we’re discussing 10 of the top benefits you receive when you add routine dental cleanings to your yearly schedule!

1. Prevent tooth loss.

Research shows that 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Tooth loss can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Trauma (accidents).
  • Tobacco use.
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Certain autoimmune diseases.

To lessen your risk of losing a tooth, it’s important to stay on top of your oral health. Your dentist can remove any lingering plaque with a deep clean, and also check your teeth for any early signs of cavities or gum disease. This way, you can address any problems before it’s too late.

2. Avoid periodontitis and gingivitis.

Gingivitis is another term for gum inflammation. When left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, or gum disease. Both gingivitis and periodontitis begin when excess plaque is left to build up in your mouth. Eventually, it can lead to tooth loss as surrounding tissues begin to decay. The good news? Both conditions are preventable.

When you visit your dentist for a routine cleaning, they’ll remove plaque buildup and help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Between visits, it’s important to stick to a twice-daily brushing and flossing routine at home to do your part in preventing decay.

3. Stop gum disease.

Another interesting fact about gum disease? Not only can you prevent it, but you can also stop it in its tracks. Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly can help reduce any early inflammation and quell symptoms of gingivitis. If your condition has already progressed into periodontitis, your dentist still holds the answers.

In addition to deep-cleaning your teeth, your dentist or dental hygienist can also perform a non-surgical treatment called scaling and root planing. As its name implies, this process involves scraping and removing plaque and tartar from your teeth and root surfaces. After performing the procedure, your dentist will then smooth away any roughness on your tooth roots to prevent future bacteria buildup.

4. Prevent a host of health problems.

Research shows that your oral health is intricately linked to your overall health. When you visit the dentist, you’re not only keeping your teeth and gums in great condition, you’re helping to guard yourself against conditions commonly associated with gum disease. Among others, these include:

  • Diabetes.
  • Heart disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Pneumonia.
  • A low birth weight in babies.

5. Say goodbye to bad breath.

Have you ever held back from talking to someone you really wanted to connect with because you were worried about how your breath might smell? Halitosis, or chronic bad breath, is a condition that can be caused by a range of factors, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene.
  • Gum disease.
  • Particles of food stuck in narrow places.

When you visit your local dentist office for regular checkups and preventative cleanings, you can help keep your breath in top shape. You’ll reach for the mints less when your mouth is naturally clean and free of excess bacteria.

6. Keep cavities away

Even if you’re a brushing and flossing wizard, it can be nearly impossible to reach every tiny nook and cranny in your mouth. While establishing a daily dental care routine is necessary, relying on at-home brushing alone could leave you susceptible to cavities. Your dentist uses professional tools to expertly remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth, helping you avoid cavity fillings altogether.

7. Detect jaw problems early.

Like snoring, many people grind their teeth at night and don’t even realize it. This condition, known as bruxism, can cause damage to your teeth, as well as any restorations or dental crowns you might have. It can also create excess tension in your jaw. This can lead to headaches, as well as severe facial and jaw pain. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders also cause similar symptoms, along with other severe repercussions, such as jaw misalignment.

These issues can worsen if you skip your routine dental visits. Your dentist can recognize the early signs of these disorders and can recommend special appliances, such as a custom-fitted mouthguard, that can help treat them.

8. Save money.

Is saving money the main reason you’re holding off on visiting the dentist? It helps to know that most dental insurance plans will cover up to 100% of the costs of twice-annual preventative visits.

In addition, routine visits can actually help you save money down the road. Consider the costs of the advanced dental treatments and surgeries that could be required if a minor issue with your teeth or gums snowballs into a bigger one due to lack of oversight. When you catch problems early, you can treat them in a more gentle, effective, and economical way.

9. Maintain a bright smile.

Are you self-conscious about your teeth? Tend to smile with your lips closed? Dental cleanings are the key to a bright, healthy smile. At your visits, your dentist can remove stubborn stains, deep clean your teeth, and help treat or prevent any discoloration from occurring. Even if you forgo professional whitening treatments, you’ll still notice brighter, more attractive teeth when you leave. If you’ve lost teeth to decay, your dentist can also recommend certain treatments, such as crowns, bridges, and implants, that can restore your smile and return it to its former glory.

10. Identify early signs of cancer.

Your dentist is uniquely positioned to detect the early signs of mouth cancer, which include red or white patches in your mouth.

In addition to checking for these issues during your routine exams, your dentist will also look for any symptoms of head or neck cancer that might be present. Most of the time, these checks won’t result in any unusual findings; however, they could save your life and are an important reason not to skip out on your dental visits!

Schedule your dental cleanings with us.

Are you a resident of East Norriton, Philadelphia, or Montgomery County, PA? If so, you might have wondered, “What’s the best dentist office near me?” That’s where we come in.

We’d love to be your family’s go-to resource for local dental care. From dental cleanings and pediatric dentistry to emergency dental care, periodontics, and more, we do it all. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.