New Year New Smile: Why You Should Consider Getting a Dental Cleaning

A dental cleaning can make your teeth feel new

A simple way to renew your smile.

The new year is a time of renewal and fresh starts. We make New Year’s resolutions to start a new exercise routine, eat healthier, learn a new language, or travel somewhere new—to build ourselves up into a healthier, kinder, more experienced, and happier person. While you’re making fresh starts during the new year, it’s a good idea to think about renewing your smile, too. Even a simple dental cleaning can refresh your smile in ways you might not expect, going far beyond just cleaning your teeth. If you’re on the fence about scheduling an appointment, here are a few benefits of teeth cleaning that make it a habit that pays off incredibly well! 

Dental cleanings make your smile look brighter and whiter. 

While it might sound strange at first, dental cleanings can improve the appearance of your smile by making it whiter. How does it do this? Every day, bacteria build up onto your teeth to form a film called plaque. If plaque isn’t cleaned off during a thorough oral hygiene routine, it mineralizes and hardens into tartar. While it sounds like this process would take a long time, it only takes 24 to 72 hours for plaque to harden into tartar. Tartar bonds to the surface of your teeth, so you can’t remove it at home during your regular oral hygiene routine. 

Both plaque and tartar are tinted yellow or brown, so they can change the color of your teeth. The change is gradual enough that you probably won’t notice it happening, but the good news is that it’s not permanent! Professional dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar all at once, using special tools to ensure that all signs of tartar are removed from your teeth. While the result isn’t as stunning as a cosmetic dentistry treatment like professional teeth whitening, a dental cleaning can still renew your smile so that it’s noticeably brighter and whiter than it was before your appointment. It’s an unexpected—but very welcome—benefit to getting your teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist!  

They’re vital for the prevention and early detection of oral health issues.

Getting a professional dental cleaning every six months is also incredibly important for your oral health. Plaque and tartar contain bacteria that can irritate your gums and eat away at your enamel, causing issues like gum disease and cavities. Removing it from your teeth, which is especially important for buildups of tartar that you can’t remove at home, actively prevents these oral health issues. 

These professional cleanings also allow your dentist to examine your teeth and gums closely for signs of existing problems. When you’re getting a cleaning regularly, your dentist is more likely to be able to spot signs of potential health issues early. 

Just as it is with other health issues, early detection is essential for your oral health because it ensures that you and your dentist can take steps to treat a cavity, gum disease, or a failing dental restoration before it becomes a big issue. In this way, professional dental cleanings are a lot like your regular checkups with your primary care physician. When you keep up with them, you’ll notice that your smile is decidedly brighter and healthier, so it’s worth making a habit of scheduling an appointment every six months.

They help prevent tooth loss.

When oral health issues like cavities or gum disease go undiagnosed and untreated, they can eventually lead to tooth loss. Cavities don’t usually cause pain until they’ve already reached the nerves at the center of your tooth, at which point you’ll likely need a root canal, and gum disease is often painless until it has reached advanced stages of periodontitis. As a result, it’s surprisingly easy to be suffering from a severe oral health issue without even realizing it. 

Thankfully, scheduling a regular dental cleaning helps you avoid this altogether! Since your dentist is much more likely to spot oral health issues early, you shouldn’t develop severe issues that run the risk of costing you a tooth. Instead, your teeth will be healthier than ever before.  

Dental cleanings save you money by preventing serious issues.

Early detection of oral health issues isn’t just better for your oral health—it’s also better for your wallet! It’s much less expensive to simply schedule regular dental cleanings. Even if your dentist spots potential oral health issues, they’re often much easier to treat when they’re caught early. Minor cases of gingivitis, for example, are often easy to resolve by simply practicing a great oral hygiene routine at home, especially flossing every day. If you know it’s there, you can sometimes even repair minor spots of decalcification, which might have otherwise turned into a cavity, through a great oral hygiene routine and fluoride mouthwash. 

Even if you do have a small cavity, it’s so much easier, faster, and less expensive to treat at an early stage than it is if the cavity becomes severe. More extensive dental treatments simply cost more and require more trips to the dentist, so keeping your mouth healthy means more money saved. Who knows, maybe you can squirrel away what you’re saving for a special trip or some other treat for yourself—you’ll certainly have earned it!

They protect your overall health.

We often think of oral and overall health as separate, but the fact is that your mouth is very much connected to the rest of your body. Oral health issues, especially if they get severe, can impact your overall health by increasing your risks of health issues like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and more. In large part, this is because conditions like severe gum disease allow oral bacteria into your bloodstream, which can cause widespread inflammation. But the good news is that the opposite is also true. 

When your teeth and gums are healthier, they help you stay healthier overall, too! That makes regular professional dental cleanings a pretty simple way to invest in both your oral and overall health, helping you live a healthier and happier life. With results like that, it’s easy to see why these appointments are so important! Dental cleanings are relatively simple, quick appointments, but they can provide benefits for your oral and overall health as well as improve your confidence in your smile by making it brighter.

So while you’re focusing on the renewal that the new year so often brings, think about kickstarting the habit of scheduling a regular dental appointment—it will certainly help you reach the goal of becoming healthier and happier this year! If you’re ready to get started towards a new you with an improved and more confident smile, feel free to schedule an appointment with your dentist at any time.