The Importance of Regular Dental Cleanings

by Dr. Diane Hourigan

Many people think of the dentist only as a place people visit to get cavities filled, but the reality is that most of a dental practice’s day is dedicated to routine cleanings designed to keep patients from ever getting cavities in the first place. While it seems like it should be common sense to get regular dental cleanings every six months, there are many people who ignore this recommendation. For the following reasons, all of Dr. Diane Hourigan’s patients should schedule an appointment with their Chapel Hill family dentist twice a year for cleanings:


#1 It Prevents Cavities


Even those people who brush and floss their teeth every single day can end up with the kind of plaque and tartar buildup on their teeth that can cause cavities. Professional cleanings help prevent this from happening, as trained specialists with specific dental tools can do a much better job clearing your teeth of plaque than anything you may own at home.


#2 Cleanings Cost Less Than Fillings


Something else to keep in mind is that many insurance plans cover two cleanings per year, which means they are essentially free for some patients. Even for those that don’t have dental insurance, the cost of a cleaning is considerably less than the cost of a filling or root canal. It’s better to prevent the damage than experience the pain and expense that comes with these types of cavities.


#3 Check for Oral Cancer


While most people will live their lives without oral cancer, the mouth isn’t an area that they are able to check easily without professional assistance. Dr. Hourigan can check not only your teeth but other areas of your mouth to perhaps identify cancer signs early enough for them to be treated in a timely manner.


#4 X-Rays Help Find Hidden Issues


While you can make a pretty good guess about the quality of your teeth from the outside, you cannot physically see what is happening underneath your gums and in your jaw without the assistance of an x-ray. X-rays are a routine aspect of biannual cleanings, and they can identify impending issues with wisdom teeth, your jawbone, and of course your teeth, where not all problems are visible on the surface alone.


#5 Boost Your Overall Health


Studies have long since proven that there is a direct correlation between dental health and overall health. Regular cleanings help improve your dental health, thereby preventing a lot of the other illnesses and infections that can occur as a result of a compromised immune system.


Schedule an Appointment

More than anything else, Dr. Hourigan wants her patients to be happy and healthy, all while sporting a great smile, and the best way she can help ensure that happens is to get those patients in for their regular dental cleanings. They save money, they improve overall health, and they make your smile look as great as it possibly can. Knowing all of this, why wouldn’t you want to get your teeth cleaned twice a year?