Spring clean your teeth
Add a dental visit to this year's spring cleaning list. A professional dental cleaning at least twice a year can improve the state of oral health, reports the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.
"A prophylaxis, also known as a 'prophy' or professional dental cleaning, reinforces the at home oral health regimen," says Academy spokesperson Anne Murray, DDS. "It is designed to preserve health, and prevent the spread of disease and gives the dentist an opportunity to locate other areas in the mouth that may need attention."
It is strongly recommended that a dentist or hygienist perform a dental cleaning every 3-6 months, says Dr. Murray. She discourages consumer use of over-the-counter tooth polishing instruments.
"People with healthy teeth and gums typically do not experience soreness after a cleaning," says Dr. Murray. Those with less than perfect oral hygiene habits may experience discomfort or heightened sensitivity during a dental cleaning. The dentist can use a topical anesthetic before the cleaning to alleviate pain.What is a dental cleaning? Diagnostic services may include:
Source: Academy of General Dentistry.