Dental cleanings should be performed once or twice a year, depending on your personal needs and what your dentist wants you to do. However, there are other signs that you can need a dental cleaning even earlier than that.
If you're exhibiting any of these signs or symptoms, make an appointment to see a dentist for a teeth cleaning ASAP.
Lost That Great Feeling
No matter how you feel about visiting the dentist and having your teeth cleaned, there's one thing that's likely certain: your teeth feel great after they've been cleaned. Your teeth should feel slick, smooth, and lustrous when you run your tongue or finger over them. However, as teeth accumulate plaque and especially tartar, this feeling tends to run its course. Teeth tend to start feeling rougher, sticky, and lose their lustrous appearance and feel. If your teeth retain this feeling even after brushing them thoroughly, it's time to head to a dentist's office.
If you floss on a regular basis, good for you! It's the best way to keep your gums and teeth healthy in the years to come. However, flossing isn't always the easiest thing to do, and not just because it's a habit you have to build. When flossing becomes physically difficult, it usually means it's time to visit a dentist.
Flossing can become more difficult over time. This is because as you develop more plaque that hardens to tartar, it starts to occupy space between your teeth. Floss is helpless against tartar, so all it can do is slide through the small gap that's been left between the teeth and the layer of tartar. This can make it harder to get the floss in and out from between your teeth, and can lead to the floss shredding.
Lastly, if your gums bleed for any reason, you should visit with the dentist. This typically indicates that you have gum disease, but any cause for your gums to bleed is cause for concern. The good news is, if you act quickly, you can head it off at the pass and prevent mild gum disease from progressing into a more serious form, like periodontitis. This eliminates the risk of you losing teeth from gum disease.
If you're having any of these signs, head to the dentist's office. Don't forget to ask them what they recommend when it comes to how frequently you should come in to the office; your dentist's personal, customized advice for you can't be beaten by general recommendations online.