If you are going to the dentist only when you have a tooth problem, you could be in serious trouble in the future.

Regular dental cleanings are an important part of an overall routine of good health and are an essential step in preventing tooth loss.

Dr. Grant Hinze estimated that only about 25 percent of people visit the dentist for the recommended two cleanings each year.

Those cleanings are important because even if patients regularly brush and floss, they cannot reach places under the gum line where plaque builds up and eventually starts eating away at the bone causing tooth loss.

Dental cleanings are recommended twice a year for both children and adults. Even most insurance companies recommend and cover twice a year cleanings because they know that regular check-ups can prevent more expensive and painful tooth problems later.

Dental hygienist Kimberly Powers said she uses cleaning tools to get below the gum line and remove the scaly build-up that occurs over time. The plaque that builds up cannot be seen, and dental hygienists have special training to know the proper and safe way to clean below the gums.

Besides preventing problems in the mouth, regular dental cleanings are important for overall health.

“You should get your teeth cleaned twice a year because it’s proven that most other health problems stem from the mouth,” Kimberly said.

If the mouth tissues are inflamed due to plaque build-up, it can aggravate other problems like heart disease and diabetes.

“Don’t wait and keep that infection in your mouth because it escalates,” she said.

Other benefits of regular dental cleanings include early detection of oral cancer or other mouth problems and a brighter and whiter smile.

Schedule your dental cleaning today by calling Dr. Hinze’s office at (308) 995-5331.