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I Brush and Floss Daily: Why Do I Need Professional Dental Cleanings?

It’s easy to see the need for a dentist visit when you have a toothache or other problem. But regular checkups are important, too — really important.

Harbor Community Health Centers helps patients of all ages maintain optimal oral health with regular dental checkups and cleanings. Learn why twice-yearly visits are so important for oral health and overall wellness.

1. Tartar removal

Have you ever run your tongue across your teeth and noticed a film? That’s plaque, a sticky substance of food debris, saliva, and bacteria in your mouth. If plaque isn’t removed regularly, it quickly hardens, forming tartar deposits that can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing. 

The problem is, no matter how well you brush and floss, you’re almost certainly going to miss areas, including the areas between your teeth and around your gums. Hard tartar deposits start to form, harboring bacteria that in turn increase your risk of gum disease and other oral health problems.

During regular checkups, our team uses special techniques and instruments to remove tartar deposits. Plus, your hygienist can give you tips to help improve your home routine, so you can be more effective in removing plaque deposits.

2. Early detection of decay and infection

Speaking of gum disease, having, regular checkups and cleanings help diagnose gum disease before serious consequences happen. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, and in its early stages, it often causes no noticeable symptoms. 

During your cleaning, we’ll look for early signs of gum disease, so we can prescribe interventional care to keep it from progressing. We’ll also look for early signs of tooth decay such as cavities, tiny cracks, and other problems before they cause symptoms. 

3. Oral cancer screening

During your cleaning appointment, our team also performs an oral cancer evaluation. More than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancers every year. Regular dental checkups and cleanings play an important role in catching cancer in its earliest stages so it can be promptly treated.

4. Individualized guidance

Your oral health needs change throughout your life. Having twice-yearly professional cleanings gives us a chance to evaluate your oral health needs so that we can provide important guidance tailored to your needs. Be sure to update your medical file with us, including any newly diagnosed chronic issues or prescriptions, since these can have an influence on your oral health and the care we provide.

5. Aesthetic benefits

In addition to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, regular professional cleanings help your smile look its best. Built-up plaque, tartar deposits, and superficial stains can quickly dull your smile. Professional cleanings remove yellow tartar deposits and polish each tooth's surface for a healthy smile.

To schedule your next dental cleaning for you or your child call 310-547-0202 to schedule an appointment with the Harbor Community Health Centers dental team today. 

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