The importance of regular cleanings
When you visit the dentist for a regular check-up and cleaning, you will often be asked to make another appointment in 6 months. But have you ever wondered “why every 6 months?”
The truth is, there is nothing specifically magical about 6 months, and in some countries, a different routine is suggested. However, in the United States, many dental insurance companies use 6 months as a benchmark, and will pay for routine checkups just once every 6 months. Fortunately, this is a good duration of time to monitor teeth for changes.
There are times when regular cleanings should happen more frequently. For example, in the case of teens with braces, we often like to do a cleaning every 3 or 4 months. We recommend this in some patients because braces make it very difficult to get the teeth clean, and teens tend to be less than meticulous at times. We discuss this option with parents if we see that the normal brushing is not cleaning all teeth well in our adolescent patients.
Regular cleanings more frequently than 6 months are also a good option for people with overlapping teeth, or who have experienced a health issue such as periodontal disease. When you meet with your dentist, be sure to ask if you could benefit from cleanings at a shorter interval.
Now, sometimes it is not possible to make the regular dental cleaning right at that 6-month mark. Vacations, school schedules, family obligations and work often conflict with the appointment made 6 months prior. And that is understandable! Just let us know when you are able to reschedule your cleaning.
As always, we are here to answer your dental questions. In Mesa, AZ? Give us a call at (480) 447-1903 to schedule your consultation.
Pregnant women have a unique set of circumstances that affect their teeth, however, having dental check-ups and cleanings is safe and important during pregnancy.
Dental cleanings during pregnancies.
Preventive dental care while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth. Since the rise in hormone levels during pregnancy cause problems, many women report increased gum bleeding and irritation which can lead to these infections. Good dental care at home and regular dental cleanings are important throughout pregnancy.
What about other dental work during pregnancy?
Dental work that reduces the chance of infections such as a required cavity filling or crowns, should be done. If dental work is done during pregnancy, we recommend the second trimester since lying on your back for an extended period of time later in pregnancy can be uncomfortable.
What about dental emergencies
The best and safest bet is to postpone unneeded dental work when you’re pregnant, however sometimes emergency dental work is required. In these situations, we will advise you on the safest options.
What about medications during pregnancy?
We do not recommend using medications for pain relief during dental work unless necessary. Currently, there are conflicting studies about possible adverse effects of medicines used for dental procedures during pregnancy. However, medications such as antibiotics used to fight infection are safe. It’s best to discuss the options with your dentist and obstetrician.
Are dental x-rays safe during pregnancy?
Routine x-rays, typically taken during preventative appointments, can usually be postponed until after the birth. X-rays are necessary to perform many dental procedures, especially emergencies. However, having dental X-rays during your pregnancy is considered safe with appropriate shielding by the American Dental Association and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
If you are pregnant, or may be pregnant, please let your hygienist know at your appointment, or inform the receptionist when you make the appointment. We will work with you to give you the best appropriate care, and make modifications, or postponements as appropriate for your pregnancy and dental care.