Why Do Dental Cleanings Matter?

Oral health can often be a direct indication of your overall health. The health of your teeth and gums can have a positive or negative effect on your body, and poor dental hygiene can cause even more problems for those with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Regular dental cleanings and checkups can prevent unwanted complications and help keep your smile beautiful and bright.

Most people should have a minimum of two checkups and cleanings per year. For diabetics and those with other serious health complications, your dentist may recommend even more visits to ensure good oral health.




The number one reason to see your dentist regularly is to maintain good oral health and prevent any serious complications. Neglecting to brush, floss, and keep regular cleanings can lead to a long list of complications, including:

  • Cavities
  • Decay
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Tooth Decay
  • Abscessed / Infected Teeth

Regular checkups and cleanings can also spot any problems early on, allowing our team to create a treatment plan that seeks to prevent further damage, decay, or disease. Identifying abscesses and signs of periodontal disease early on can prevent more serious complications from developing as a result of infection. Dr. Moore will also be able to spot problems like broken fillings and fractures during a periodontal cleaning.



If your dentist finds any cavities or signs of decay during your periodontal cleaning, it will likely be treated as soon as possible. Only dental professionals like Dr. Moore and the team at the Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry can properly treat cavities and other oral health complications.


While they may sound harmless, cavities are actually quite serious. Cavities form as a result of a buildup of bacteria and food particles on the teeth, which erode the tooth enamel. If left untreated, cavities can penetrate the tooth’s surface, and decay can develop within the tooth itself, which can lead to far more serious complications like infections.


An infected tooth can develop an abscess, which, if it bursts, can lead to serious health complications, and even death. The infection can travel through your bloodstream to your brain, heart, and other vital organs. Your mouth, after all, is a gateway to the rest of your body. This is why it’s vital to maintain good oral health with daily brushing and flossing and routine cleanings and checkups.

Gum Disease

Limiting sugary, starchy, and sticky foods can also prevent gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and decay as well as gum disease. A strong link has been reported between cardiovascular disease and gum disease. Getting your teeth cleaned twice a year can prevent gum disease and reduce your chances of potentially deadly heart attacks and strokes.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is another serious complication that can be prevented with regular periodontal checkups and cleanings. Oral cancer is becoming more and more common, despite advances in dental technology and at-home cleaning products. In America alone, one person dies from oral cancer every hour, but many of these cancers are curable if detected at an early stage during a routine cleaning.



Keeping regular dental cleaning appointments can also keep your smile bright and beautiful. During a cleaning, your dental hygienist can remove most of the stains that dull and discolor your teeth and remove the buildup of plaque and decay that can cause bad breath. During your regular dental checkup, your dentist can spot any chips or fractures. There are several ways we can treat chipped teeth to get your smile back to beautiful. Possible solutions to repair your chipped tooth include the following:

Tooth-colored filling

For a small chip or fracture, a tooth-colored filling will repair the damage and match the shade of your existing tooth.


For a more extensive chip, repair may require an involved treatment using crowns.


If a chipped tooth creates permanent damage, a veneer designed to cover the front surface of teeth may be necessary.

If you believe you have a broken or fractured tooth, please do not hesitate to call and schedule an appointment. We will examine the situation and seek out the most appropriate form of treatment to fit your needs.



There’s no reason to be nervous about receiving regular dental cleanings. Cleanings are often performed by a dental hygienist, although a dentist may take a look at your teeth after they’ve been cleaned and polished.


Before the cleaning process begins, the dental hygienist will likely have a look around to check for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. They’ll also “test” the sensitivity of your teeth by touching each one individually with a small tool to check for infection and disease. X-rays are also taken at this stage of the exam. X-rays are normally done once a year, but for those with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and sensitive teeth, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings and exams.

Plaque Removal

Next the dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth to prevent bacteria growth and disease. Brushing and flossing regularly prevents plaque and tartar buildup, so  for those who maintain good oral hygiene, the hygienist will spend less time in this stage of the cleaning process. Once a large amount of plaque and tartar have built up on the teeth around the gum line, only your dental hygienist will be able to remove it. The lesson here: brush and floss daily. If you’re scheduling a visit with us for the first time, rest assured you’ll receive the highest quality of care possible. Whether you’re searching for a new provider or seeking cosmetic services, we’ll help you achieve the smile of your dreams.


After removing plaque and tartar build up, your dental hygienist will properly floss your teeth. Yes, it really is that important to floss! Flossing can remove any food particles and bits left behind or inaccessible by brushing.


Once your teeth have been properly cleaned, they’ll be polished with a gritty toothpaste that removes any remnants of plaque and tartar, leaving them squeaky clean. Don’t worry; the gritty toothpaste tastes just like normal toothpaste. After your teeth have been polished, your dental hygienist will rinse your mouth to remove any leftover grittiness.

Post Exam

Once your teeth have been cleaned and polished, the dentist will likely take a peak just to make sure everything is looking normal. If you have any cavities or decay, your dentist will provide a treatment plan tailored to your oral health needs.

Flouride Treatment

After your teeth have been cleaned and polished, your dental hygienist will apply a fluoride treatment to your teeth protect against cavities. The treatment is totally painless. You may be asked to avoid food and drink for up to 30 minutes after the treatment, but you will be able to resume eating and drinking soon after your visit.


Memphis Dentists

If you’re scheduling a visit with us for the first time, rest assured you’ll receive the highest quality of care possible. Whether you’re searching for a new provider or seeking cosmetic services, we’ll help you achieve the smile of your dreams.




This article was reviewed by Dr. Miles Moore of Memphis Center for Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Moore is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists who has received extensive training in implant dentistry. He is a member of multiple dental organizations, including the American Dental Association, the American Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Memphis Dental Society.

Posted by Miles Moore at 7:23 AM
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