Ever wonder why you need to get your teeth thoroughly cleaned by a dental hygienist twice a year? It’s not just so the dental office staff can see your smiling face twice a year or just make sure you are really brushing your teeth as well as you should–although these are some bonus perks. Cleaning your teeth with dental instruments is a guaranteed way to remove all plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth. If you don’t get the plaque (also known as biofilm) removed regularly, then this is what you can expect.
Biofilm is virtually 100% bacteria, with streptococcus comprising the majority. You may recognize streptococcus as the culprit for causing colds and excruciatingly painful sore throats. Since bacteria love to live on carbohydrates, any food that gets left on your teeth for even a few minutes becomes an instant buffet for bacteria. Eating causes the bacteria to reproduce and consequently excrete acid, which then eats away at your teeth enamel. If enough acid can open up a tubule in your tooth, the bacteria will promptly invade, creating a cavity.
Sometimes these cavities will start to appear on the sides of your teeth, in places where you can’t readily see them while brushing your teeth. If you see your hygienist regularly, he or she can spot these cavities well before they start to become painful. Otherwise, there’s a chance that you won’t know something is wrong until the bacteria worm all the way into your tooth’s nerve center. Not only is this extremely painful, but it sometimes requires a pricey root canal to save the tooth, which can have a painful recovery period.
Don’t forget that plaque build-up causes gum disease too, which can also result in tooth loss and pricey treatments.
So visiting your dentist twice a year isn’t that much of a hassle in comparison to what could happen? Brushing and flossing are just two very important steps when it comes to your dental health. Make sure you don’t leave out the third, equally important step. If you’re in the Frisco, TX area and need a new dentist, please contact our office today! We would love to be a part of your dental health steps.