Plus Answers to Your Most-Pressing Questions About Dental Cleanings
Most people are not dental care experts – and that’s OK! Thankfully, you can find answers to your most important questions about proper tooth brushing at home, the correct frequency of dental cleanings, and whether you need dental X-rays all in one place: right here.
So grab your toothbrush – manual or electric – and keep reading to learn more about commonly-asked questions about preventative dental care.
Is an Electric Toothbrush Better Than a Manual Toothbrush?
A recent 11-year study by the Oral Health Foundation, a British organization, found that people who use an electric toothbrush are more likely to have healthier gums and less tooth decay than those who use a manual toothbrush. In fact, using electric toothbrushes resulted in 22 percent less gum recession and 18 percent less tooth decay over the period of the study.
The best electric toothbrushes are those with heads that oscillate or rotate in both directions because they are most effective at removing plaque, the build-up that develops on the surfaces of your teeth and causes tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist can recommend a brand or type of electric toothbrush for you.
What Is the Right Way to Brush Your Teeth?
Regardless of whether you use an electric or a manual toothbrush, you should brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing once a day is also an important step in your oral care.
To properly brush, hold your electric or manual toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward your gum line. Move the brush back and forth, with a circular motion, over the chewing surface, front, and back of each tooth, including your back molars.
How Is Brushing Your Teeth Different from Getting a Dental Cleaning?
A dental cleaning is far more thorough than you are likely to be when brushing your teeth at home. Not only does the deep dental cleaning process remove tartar build-up – which you can’t do at home – but it also utilizes a specialized toothpaste that, if used regularly at home, could strip the enamel, or protective top layer, of your teeth.
What Happens During a Dental Cleaning?
During a dental cleaning, you’ll receive a thorough oral exam. Using a small mirror, the hygienist looks at all the surfaces of your teeth and gums.
Then, using a scaler, the hygienist removes plaque or tartar around your gum line and between your teeth.
After your teeth are free from build-up, the hygienist brushes them using a high-powered electric toothbrush using a toothpaste with a gritty consistency. This allows the hygienist to polish your teeth.
Finally, your dental hygienist will thoroughly floss deep between your teeth and rinse your mouth to remove any remaining debris. Some dental patients opt for a fluoride treatment at this time.
How Often Do I Really Need a Dental Cleaning?
The American Dental Association recommends dental cleanings every six months, and most dental insurance will fully cover the cost of this preventative care visit.
Check with your dental insurance directly, however, because you may be eligible for more frequent cleanings, such as four times per year.
How Often Do I Need Dental X-Rays Taken?
The American Dental Association recommends healthy adults get dental X-rays every two to three years. Adults who are experiencing ongoing decay or other issues should have them taken once or twice per year. You can have X-rays taken during your regularly-scheduled dental cleaning.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends X-rays every six months for children at high risk of tooth decay; children with a lower risk do not need X-rays as frequently.
You will also need X-rays taken of your teeth if you are planning to undergo cosmetic dentistry procedures, not only to ensure the health of your gums and oral tissues, but also to check on the health and structure of your teeth’s roots.
Where Can I Get Dental Cleaning Near Me?
Schedule a dental cleaning at your Kansas City dentist office. You can find dental practices who accept your dental insurance through your carrier’s website.
If you do not have dental insurance, find a dental provider who offers a discount program, such as the Smile Club at E-Care Dentistry. Membership can lower the cost of your dental care.
You can make an appointment for a check-up and cleaning online, without having to make a phone call. Click here to request an appointment with E-Care Dentistry, located at 15010 S. Black Bob Road, in Olathe, Kansas.