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Reasons to Have Clean Teeth

Reasons To Have Clean Teeth

Why Keeping Our Teeth Clean is Important to Our Health

You lean back in your chair and let out a satisfied sigh, contemplating the dinner you just ate, and take a few moments to relax a little before starting the dishes.  Once everything is cleaned up, you walk up the stairs to get ready for bed, starting out by brushing your teeth.  You were taught at such a young age that you can’t even remember when you started brushing and flossing your teeth, but you do so every morning and every night. What is so important about brushing and flossing each day?  Why not wait until your six-month cleaning and checkup to get a good set of clean teeth?  What’s so bad about skipping a few days?  Before you crawl into bed without brushing and flossing, be sure you are aware of the risks associated with it.

Read on for the five most important reasons for keeping your teeth clean daily.

Plaque Removal

Regardless of what we consume, plaque is present in our mouths.  Plaque is a soft, sticky film that covers all surfaces of our teeth.  It is mostly made up of bacteria, and after we eat a meal this bacteria feeds on the food particles left on our teeth.  When this happens, the bacteria produce acid that breaks down your enamel and eventually causes cavities.

The best way to remove plaque is by getting a professional dental cleaning.  Our team of highly trained hygienists work hard to ensure all buildup is removed and that you go home with clean teeth.  Of course, due to insurance and time restraints, very few of us can hop in the hygienist���s chair for a cleaning more than once every six months (which is the absolute longest time you should go in between your dental cleanings).  So, in between visits, make sure you brush your teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride for two full minutes on all surfaces after each time you eat.  Also, since bacteria is so minuscule and can easily slip between your teeth, flossing once a day ensures that the area where your brush’s bristles cannot reach is kept clean and healthy as well.

When you don’t brush and floss at least twice a day, plaque becomes hard and causes the gums to become inflamed, leading to gum disease.

Gum Disease Prevention

Gingivitis

Gum disease (gingivitis) actually affects over 70% of the American population.  The worst part is that the majority of people who have gingivitis don’t even realize they have it.  They think that they have clean teeth because they brush daily, even though their gums bleed and hurt to touch.  The reality is, when you brush or floss your teeth, your gums should never hurt or bleed at all.  Both are a sign of infection and a dental professional should be consulted for treatment, as gingivitis is easily treatable.  Unfortunately, if left alone, it will turn into a more severe stage of gum disease.

Periodontitis

Without treatment and proper care, gingivitis will spread, causing not only painful, bleeding gums but tissue and bone loss as well.  Your teeth are rooted into your jaw bones.  Once periodontal disease eats away at your bone, your teeth become loose and fall out of their sockets.  And, even more concerning, a link has been made between severe gum disease and strokes or heart attacks.  Once gum disease gets to this severe stage, it is imperative to seek professional dental help immediately.

woman covering her mouth
Smell Better

It’s one of the most embarrassing moments: friends and family alike leaning away from you each time you talk, then finally offering you a stick of gum or a mint.  Bad breath (halitosis) affects over 80 million people.  Most of the time it’s due to what we just ate for lunch that does it (something containing raw onions or garlic), but for most people, bad breath is a daily struggle.

As stated before, the food particles that stay stuck to your teeth after eating encourages bacterial growth, and this actually emits an odor.  The longer the teeth aren’t cleaned, the more the bacteria count grows, and the worse the stench gets.  By keeping your teeth clean daily at home and getting them cleaned at your six-month checkups, that odor is eliminated.

Infection Prevention

Almost everything put inside of your body gets there through your mouth.  Food, drink, pen caps, our fingernails — they all come into contact with our teeth.  Unfortunately, many of these things are riddled with germs that should not enter our mouths.  Think of your fingernails.  You use your fingers all day, typing, scratching, poking and touching.  Bacteria gets under our nails and in the creases of our skin all the time.  When you touch your mouth or bite your nails, that bacteria enters our mouths and enters our system.

Another way bacteria is introduced to our mouths is — you guessed it — through plaque buildup.  Like we discussed earlier, plaque leads to decay, which forms cavities.  Small cavities can grow quickly if not taken care of professionally as soon as possible.  Once the decay reaches the nerve of a tooth, it creates an infection, or abscess, which causes extreme pain and swelling and can put you in the hospital quickly or even become fatal.

Save Money!

Whether you have dental insurance or not, saving money should NOT be one of the reasons you avoid your regular cleanings.  On average, a dental cleaning and checkup can cost about $165.  Most insurances pay that charge once every six months in full.  However, not all of us are lucky enough to have dental insurance, and that cost can cause them to rethink what they want to spend their savings on.

stack of money
Hopefully, after reading this article, you have realized that avoiding dental care gives you more problems down the road, and the simple fact is more problems cost more money.  Let’s break it down visually showing cost with no insurance and cost if you have a typical insurance dental plan with a $1,000 annual maximum:

Procedure

Cost on Average- No Insurance

Typical Insurance Coverage

Approximate Length of Visit

cleaning (two per year)

$90-$250

100% of typical $1,000 maximum

30 to 45 minutes

filling (per tooth)

$110-$450

50%-80% of typical $1,000 maximum

45 to 75 minutes per filling

crown (per tooth)

$750-$1,350

0%-50% of typical $1,000 maximum

crown visit:60-90

2 weeks to make crown

cement visit:30-45

root canal and crown (per tooth)

$400-$600 – root canal +
$750-$1,350 – crown

0%-50% of typical $1,000 maximum

root canal:45-60

1-2 weeks to heal

60-90 minutes for the crown

2 weeks to make crown

cement crown:30-45

extraction, implant and crown

between $4,000 and $6,500
for entire process

0%-50% of typical $1,000 maximum

extraction visit:30-60

1-3 weeks to heal

implant visit:60-90

3-6 months to heal

abutment visit:30-45

2 weeks to make crown

cement crown:30-45

As you can see, the better you are at maintaining clean and healthy gums and teeth, the more money you will save in the future. Here’s information about our insurance procedures and a list of coverage we accept at Madison Family Dental.

Clean Teeth Are Happy Teeth

Whether you are wanting to save your money or you would just rather sit in a pool chair instead of a dental chair, avoiding your dental visits will cost you more in too many ways.  Schedule your appointment with us today and, as always, keep brushing and flossing for healthy, clean teeth!

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