Regular dental cleanings are important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Plaque (whitish film) begins building on our teeth the moment we put our toothbrush down. Plaque harbors bacteria and can lead to a disease called gingivitis. Someone experiencing gingivitis will notice their gums have become swollen and red due to inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria. If not treated at this stage, gingivitis will lead to periodontal disease which affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. Tooth loss is often the result of severe periodontitis.
At Tooth B.U.D.D.S., Affiliated Practice Dental Hygienists aim to provide a dental cleaning to every child at their school location every year. Children who grow up having their teeth cleaned will turn into adults who value the importance of yearly dental cleanings and check-ups. In return, those adults then understand the importance of routine dental care for their children and thus, the cycle for improved oral health care has begun.
Remember Disclosing Tablets?
You might remember chewing on a pink tablet in school when you were a kid. Your teeth became all pink and you knew you better start brushing better. Nothing is more effective at showing children the plaque on their teeth then disclosing tablets. Each child receives two tablets in their water bottle filled with dental supplies so they can practice brushing in the mirror knowing where the plaque is that needs to get brushed off.
How to use: Chew a tablet and let it mix with the saliva in your mouth, then swish the saliva around for about 30 seconds and spit it out. The pink dye will have stained the whitish plaque on your teeth and shows you exactly where you need to brush better.
6 things a dental cleaning can do for you:
- Prevent cavities. The whitish film that builds on your teeth is called plaque and is the leading cause of tooth decay. This acidic substance eats away at the tooth enamel and, if left unattended, can lead to cavities. Plaque can be removed by brushing, flossing and dental cleanings.
- Stop tooth loss. Gum disease, which starts with the build-up plaque, is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. As gum disease advances, plaque moves farther down the tooth where it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to loosen and fall out. Luckily, the chance of this happening to you can be greatly reduced through regular dental cleanings combined with good oral hygiene habits.
- Brighten your smile. Drinking coffee, tea and wine or using tobacco can stain your teeth. A dental cleaning can remove built-up stains and leave you with freshly polished teeth. The result? A white, brighter smile!
- Freshen your breath. Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent persistent bad breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your mouth healthy and odor-free.
- Boost your overall health. Studies have shown a connection between oral and overall health. Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for some diseases, like heart disease and stroke. Many medical conditions, some of them life-threatening, can be detected in their early stages by your dentist during a routine oral exam.
- Save money. Get the most value from your dental benefits. Most Delta Dental plan have low or no copayments/coinsurance for dental cleanings and oral exams. If you take advantage of your benefits now, you may be able to save money in the long run by helping to protect your oral health and potentially avoiding more costly and expensive procedures.
Although Tooth B.U.D.D.S. provides a dental cleaning to students FREE OF CHARGE it should be noted that these services do NOT take the place of a full dental examination including xrays. Please see your dental provider every 6 months for preventive dental hygiene services including a comprehensive exam and xrays.