Dentists recommend patients get regular dental cleanings to promote good tooth and gum health, but many people think these appointments are a waste of time and money. Contrary to what you may think, though, here are three ways getting your teeth professionally cleaned can actually save you both time and money.
Prevent Need for More Expensive Dental Work
Bacteria is the enemy of teeth and gums, and unfortunately, your mouth is full of them. They crawl around on oral tissues, eating any sugar they find and leaving behind a waste product called plaque that essentially bonds bacteria to teeth. This is a problem, because the bacteria in plaque also produce acids that wear away at tooth enamel, causing cavities and gum inflammation.
Brushing and flossing daily helps eliminate plaque, but it's not always possible to reach every crevice in your mouth. Additionally, if you're like most people, you may not be cleaning your teeth the right way, resulting in spots that never see the right side of a toothbrush. Left untreated, plaque buildup can lead to gum disease and tooth loss, both of which become progressively more expensive to fix the worse the condition gets.
For instance, filling a cavity costs up to $150 or more. On the other hand, a dental implant to replace a tooth lost because of an untreated cavity can cost up to $4,500. Meanwhile, dental cleanings are usually covered by insurance, costing you nothing out of pocket.
Thus, if you want to avoid having to empty your bank account to fix preventable oral health issues down the line, it's a good idea to invest in regular dental cleanings now.
Reduce Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes
In addition to destroying your teeth, plaque—and the bacteria that cause it—can contribute to the onset or worsening of some diseases and conditions. For instance, research has revealed that people with gum disease have a higher risk of having heart attacks and strokes.
While the connection isn't direct, medical professionals suspect the bacteria induces inflammation that, when it becomes chronic, can contribute to plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis). Bacteria in the mouth can also enter the blood stream and attack other parts of the body. And, on top of that, tooth loss from oral decay can make it difficult to eat healthy, which can lead to a whole host of other medical problems.
Medical care in America is very expensive, and chronic conditions like heart failure can crush even the heartiest bank account. Something as simple as keeping your teeth and gums clean may be one of the best things you can do to guard against the development of other more costly health issues.
Less Need for Oral Health and Beauty Products
A third area where regular dental cleanings can save you money is in your spending on health and beauty products and procedures. It is true that plaque can contribute to a number of pricey oral and bodily health problems. More mundanely, though, the bacteria that causes plaque can have you spending money to fix embarrassing hygiene issues.
For instance, plaque causes bad breath, so brushing and flossing daily and getting regular dental cleanings can reduce your dependence on gum and other breath-freshening products. Additionally, plaque can make teeth look discolored. Not only is it yellow, but it can hold onto stains from foods like wine and coffee. A professional cleaning can help get rid of the discoloration and make any teeth whitening procedures you undergo last longer so you don't have to use them as often.
A small investment in dental cleaning a couple of times a year can pay out in big health dividends in the long run. Contact your family dentist to make an appointment for a dental cleaning today.