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The Real Deal on Dental Visits: 1? 2? Or 4? When To See Your Calgary Dentist
by Dr. Michael Popp on Feb 20, 2015

Overview: Eating carrots will make your eyes stronger and visiting the dentist once a year will keep your teeth healthy… are you sure about that? Myths can be like the Big Bang, they come out of nowhere. The carrot myth was created in World War II and although the one dental visit per year can’t be confirmed, about five out of six dentists, scholars believe it’s that one odd dentist that has created this myth. Read the blog below to find out how many dental visits are recommended and why.

Dentists don’t know how the idea of one dental visit per year has become a common myth; nonetheless, they advise that you get your teeth cleaned every six months. The recommendation of two cleanings per year is based on the specific overall habits of an average person. This average person fits the following model; they brush their teeth twice a day, floss regularly, are a non-smoker and don’t indulge excessively in the culinary specialty of sweets and candy. This average individual with the attributes described will build enough tartar on their teeth in six months, which needs to be scraped off by a dental hygienist. People that qualify for one visit per year are considered more of an anomaly. They are usually in their 20’s and 30’s, healthy, have an immaculate diet and floss daily. If you fall out of this spectrum (which the majority of us do), you need to visit the Marlborough Dental Centre at least every six months.

Taking into consideration the modern day diet, one that is accelerated in sugar and acidic food, the cold reality is that many of us need to bump our teeth cleanings to three to four times a year. If you indulge in sugary cereals, candy, syrups and cola drinks, you might not realize the battle that is happening in your mouth daily. Saliva has a neutral pH level and is protecting your mouth from bacteria growth. When increased sugar frequently resides in your mouth, it throws off the balance your saliva is trying to maintain, which in turn allows bacteria to flourish. The ideal solution? A healthier diet. The realistic solution? More visits to Dr. Michael Popp’s office.

Bacteria act like an opportunist and are constantly looking for any chance to thrive. And as we get older, many of us begin to develop health conditions that require medication, which often has side effects like dry mouth. Dry mouth essentially results from decreased production of saliva in the mouth. It’s an environment that bacteria takes advantage of and begins to grow excessively. While there’s nothing we can do to combat aging, the best way to combat oral complications is to have regular visits to the dentist office for cleanings.

Other considerations that might require more than two teeth cleanings per year are if you have crowded or overlapping teeth, which can make flossing difficult and not as effective. If you find that your gums are bleeding when you floss, you might have inflammation due to the tartar buildup and this is an indication that you are in need of another cleaning.

Excess bacteria growth leads to tartar buildup which causes inflammation of the gums and that can lead to greater dental issues like bone loss around the teeth. The time in which it takes bone loss to occur is different from case to case. Unfortunately bone loss is irreversible and can’t regenerate. If you’re visiting the dentist every 18 months or every two years, you are at risk for bone loss and the longer the time between visits will accelerate the process.

The Bottom Line: Have a conversation with Dr. Popp at Marlborough Dental Centre about your oral care and he will advise you on how many cleanings you should have per year. Cleanings and routine visits to the dentist office are the best preventative measures you can take to identify possible oral problems in the future. If you practice good oral health at home the cleanings at the office will be a walk in the park. If you’re not visiting the dentist on a planned schedule, the harder it will be for the hygienist to scrape that tartar off!

For more information on getting your teeth cleaned or any other dental procedure, contact Dr. Michael Popp at Marlborough Dental Centre in NE Calgary today on (403) 248-2066.  


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