Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Keeping Teeth Clean

“I brush and floss regularly, so do I really need a dental cleaning?”

The answer is a huge YES!!!

And that’s not just me, your dentist, answering. It’s also the American Dental Association (ADA) and perhaps your internist as well.

Poorly cleaned teeth can result in periodontal disease, a serious disintegration of the gum and bone attachment to teeth.  It is estimated that about 75% of adults over age 35 have this disease in varying stages.  Periodontal disease can ultimately cause tooth and gum loss (and forever adversely alter your smile), and has been linked to heart disease, pre-mature births and a host of other serious health problems.

The enemy in periodontal disease is tartar – the rough deposits formed on teeth from a build-up of plaque, the colorless film that constantly forms on teeth and gums. Even the best at-home brushing and flossing won’t eliminate all of the plaque.  Eventually plaque hardens to form tartar,which contains pores that hold the bacteria and toxins that can eventually cause periodontal disease.  The only way to combat tartar is with a professional dental cleaning.

At Wilmette Dental, we rely on the ADA recommendation that for most individuals, tartar build up should be removed every six months.  Of course, certain illnesses, medications, and lifestyle habits (such as smoking or poor nutrition) may call for more frequent cleanings.  Wilmette Dental will work with you to plan a specific hygiene schedule to help protect you against periodontal disease.