At the end of a long day, it can be — understandably — tempting to ignore tasks like cleaning your teeth in favor of immediately settling in on the couch.
But keeping your teeth clean is essential to maintaining your oral health. That includes your at-home oral hygiene routine and the professional dental cleanings you get at the dentist. Each is vital to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues. Watch out for these common misconceptions about teeth cleaning.
Professional Teeth Cleaning Is Just About Appearance
When you visit your dentist for a routine appointment, they’ll use a variety of tools to carry out thorough teeth cleaning. You might have heard this referred to as polishing, but there’s more to it than that.
Teeth cleaning does leave you with a better-looking smile, but it also deals with serious preventive oral health concerns. Your dentist removes plaque and tartar that lead to tooth decay and gum disease, helping keep your smile strong.
There’s No Need for Concern if Your Teeth Look Healthy
If you’ve ever looked in the mirror to decide whether to visit the dentist, you aren’t taking the right approach to your oral health. Just because your smile seems bright and healthy at a glance doesn’t mean that’s the truth of the matter.
Many oral health issues develop in the background, only becoming apparent once they are a serious problem. Tooth decay typically isn’t noticeable until a large cavity develops, and you may not notice gum disease progression until it’s too late. You still need to visit the dentist for routine appointments, even if your teeth look pristine.
You Only Need to Visit the Dentist for Specific Problems
Many people discount the importance of routine dental visits. Your dentist provides professional teeth cleaning and exams that support your oral health and prevent long-term issues.
Skipping over an appointment because you feel fine can be a mistake.
By the time you experience symptoms, such as a toothache or visible damage to teeth or gums, you could require serious intervention. Visiting your dentist for routine teeth cleaning and examination helps ensure that problems are identified in time for treatment.
Brushing at Home Means You Don’t Need Teeth Cleaning
Many people maintain solid oral hygiene routines at home and end up thinking that what they’re doing is more than enough to protect their teeth. However, the brushing you do at home and the teeth cleaning at your dentist’s office aren’t the same.
When you come in for teeth cleaning, your dentist will use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar. These are hardened deposits that form on your teeth, and you can’t remove them with a standard toothbrush. Your dentist also cleans areas you can’t reach effectively, ensuring all of your teeth are protected.
More Vigorous Brushing Means Cleaner Teeth
If you think that brushing harder means cleaner teeth, you could be making a big mistake. Vigorous brushing can cause damage because you’re only wearing down your teeth.
Instead, focus on the amount of time you brush and cover every tooth. You should brush for two minutes each time; brushing harder doesn’t shorten that timeframe. Picking up a soft-bristled brush can also help protect your teeth from wear.
Bleeding Gums Aren’t Anything to Worry About
Some people don’t realize just how serious bleeding gums can be. Instead, they simply accept it as a fact of life. However, bleeding gums are almost always a cause for real concern.
If you notice your gums bleeding during brushing or flossing, you may have developed gum disease. This weakens the gums, and you might see other signs, such as swollen or red gums.
Reach out to your dentist if you’re dealing with bleeding gums.
Fluoride Treatment Isn’t Necessary
Fluoride treatment is typically offered at the same time as your teeth cleaning from your dentist. However, many people are apprehensive about this highly effective preventive treatment option.
This quick and straightforward treatment significantly improves cavity protection, remineralizing your enamel to strengthen your teeth against decay. There’s no reason to skip this important treatment during your next teeth cleaning.
Taking Care of Your Family’s Teeth
Ensuring proper oral health for you and your family is a matter of committing to solid oral hygiene practices and routine visits to your dentist. You can rely on Dr. Brett Langston at Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialists of Atlanta for your family’s dental needs.
From routine teeth cleaning and exams to a full range of cosmetic and restorative dentistry options, we’re your solution for comprehensive family dentistry with patient comfort as a top priority. Schedule an appointment today to take a proactive approach to your oral health.