General Dentistry

What Happens if I Skip a Dental Cleaning?

Feb 16 • 2 minute read

There is an old adage that says an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That principle applies to many areas of life, including oral health. While your at-home routine plays a big role in protecting your smile from cavities and gum disease, regularly visiting your dentist in Potomac Falls — Robert Dr. Bryce — is also hugely important. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what might happen if you skip even one of your semi-annual checkups and cleanings.

Plaque, Tartar, and Cavities

Plaque is an acidic, sticky film that forms on teeth as bacteria in your mouth interact with the foods you eat. It’s pretty easy to remove plaque with a toothbrush. However, if you miss even a small spot of plaque when you are brushing and flossing, it may harden into tartar, which is impossible to remove with at-home dental hygiene tools. Only a professional can get rid of it. The longer the tartar stays on the teeth, the greater your risk of cavities.

Gum Disease

According to data published on the CDC’s website, almost 50% of adults over age 30 have some form of gum disease. For adults 65 and older, that number skyrockets to 70%. Regular cleanings and checkups with Dr. Bryce can help you to prevent this serious condition. If you do end up developing gum disease, Dr. Bryce will spot it during your exam and recommend a treatment to reverse it before it poses a serious threat to your long-term oral health.

A Dental Emergency

In their early stages, many dental problems do not manifest any obvious symptoms. For example, you might not feel a small cavity because you are unlikely to experience any pain before the cavity reaches the second layer of the tooth (the dentin). Once it reaches the dentin, it might be easy to ignore the sensitivity that it causes. In fact, many people end up disregarding the signs of dental decay until they are suffering significant pain and they require a major (and relatively expensive) treatment. Regular cleanings and checkups with Dr. Bryce can help to prevent such dental emergencies.

Aesthetic Consequences

Tartar has a yellow or brown color that can diminish your teeth’s natural beauty, and gum disease is notorious for being a primary cause of bad breath. Regular professional care can greatly reduce the chances that you will suffer from such embarrassing problems.

Has it been longer than six months since your last preventive appointment? If so, Dr. Bryce and our team are ready to welcome you into our office and help you enjoy a fresher, healthier smile.

More about Dr. Bryce

Dr. Bryce has more than 30 years of experience in his field, and he is one of only a handful of dentists worldwide to have achieved Mastership status with the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. He offers a broad range of services, from routine preventive care to complex procedures. To learn more about Dr. Bryce and how our practice may be able to serve you, contact us at 571-223-6221.

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