You may have heard that six-month professional cleanings at the dentist’s office are “standard.” However, at the Center for Holistic Dentistry, we support a new standard: the three-month cleaning. Science, substantive clinical research, and experiential insight into the gum disease process support that you as a patient need to clean your teeth every three months at our Los Angeles, CA office – and here’s why:
- The formation and maturation of harmful plaque is a six-step cycle. Bacteria quickly attach to the protein film that forms on the enamel surface. It anchors itself and replicates, developing into microcolonies and an exponential increase in the population of harmful oral bacteria. Eventually, a thick plaque biofilm forms, and the bacteria spread and colonizes new surfaces in the mouth.
- Even the most diligent, consistent, and thorough brushers and flossers cannot possibly remove all of the soft, sticky plaque in their mouths. Furthermore, our skilled professionals are trained to remove stubborn, hardened plaque (tartar or calculus) effectively and safely with specialized dental instruments.
- More frequent cleanings support the complete eradication of bacterial plaque. This healthy routine keeps the amount of plaque and tartar that develops in your mouth to a minimum. When these bacterial colonies and byproducts are minimized, your risks of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease are curbed substantially.
- Remember: It is always less traumatic, costly, and time-consuming to prevent than to react to problems after they have developed. During these cleaning visits, Drs Altman, Dalwani, and Oren will also examine your mouth for abnormalities and early signs of disease. Often, oral conditions progress slowly and are asymptomatic early in the disease process. During these routine visits, our dentists detect and resolve “hidden” or “silent” conditions effectively, quickly, and conservatively in a way that preserves natural tissues.
- Three-month professional cleanings/periodontal therapy disrupts the process of plaque maturation. In turn, the bacteria do not have the additional time to evolve into disease-producing bacteria. Instead, they have to restart the cycle or process again. In other words, you prevent the tooth- and gum-eroding plaque from maturing!
- Risk factors for periodontal disease include chronic conditions such as diabetes. The presence of gum disease can also make it more difficult to keep blood sugar levels and other comorbidities under control. Patients who are on medications such as blood thinners, or to slow and stop bone loss (osteoporosis), are also at increased risk of developing oral conditions and can benefit from three-month cleanings. Hundreds of medications are associated with dry mouth, making you more vulnerable to tooth decay and other oral problems.
At the Center for Holistic Dentistry, we believe that most patients require teeth cleanings every three months instead of every six months. If you have a “sweet tooth,” do not floss as often as you should or wear oral appliances such as retainers and braces. These are all the more reasons to visit us more often. Be aware that many dental insurance plans cover preventive visits; however, they only cover professional cleanings/periodontal therapy every six months. Do not let insurance coverage dictate the care you need to have a healthy smile and a healthy body. Instead, let science be your guide. And the scientific literature supports three-month cleanings. To schedule yours at our Los Angeles office, contact us at today.
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