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Posts for: January, 2021

By David Cooley, DDS
January 04, 2021
Category: Oral Health

Regular maintenance is just as important for your teeth as it is for your vehicle. In fact, bi-annual cleaning appointments with your Portage, MI, dentist, Dr. David Cooley, are essential for good oral health.

Cleanings lower your tooth decay and gum disease risk

The dental hygienist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth during your cleaning in the Portage dental office. Plaque, a rough, colorless film, constantly coats your teeth. When bacteria in plaque combine with sugars from foods and beverages, acids form. These acids are so strong that they can eat through your tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Brushing and flossing are good ways to remove plaque, but these oral hygiene methods don't always remove every speck of the film. Plaque can be difficult to remove if portions of your teeth overlap. Unfortunately, if plaque remains, you may soon develop a cavity. The longer plaque remains on your teeth, the higher your risk of cavities and gum disease.

A curious thing happens to plaque after about a week. The film hardens and becomes a brownish deposit called tartar. Tartar irritates your gums and may cause gum disease if it isn't removed promptly. Although plaque can be removed by brushing and flossing, tartar can't.

Luckily, your dental hygienist has special tools that allow her to remove tartar and hard-to-reach plaque during your cleaning. Visiting the dentist every six months for a cleaning is a simple, effective way to protect your smile.

Other benefits of your cleaning appointment

After your appointment, you'll probably notice an improvement in the appearance of your smile. The polish your hygienist uses at the end of the cleaning removes minor surface stains that can dull your smile.

Your dentist will also examine your teeth, mouth, and jaw during your cleaning visit. If he notices any issues, whether you have a small cavity or gum disease, he'll recommend appropriate treatments and make a follow-up appointment for you.

When you visit the dentist every six months, dental issues can be identified and treated before they can cause major oral health issues. Your checkup will also include an oral cancer screening to look for lumps, red or white patches, non-healing sores, or possible cancer signs.

Is it time to schedule your teeth cleaning? Call your dentist in Portage, MI, Dr. David Cooley, at (269) 345-1021 to make your appointment.