The Importance of Regular Dental Cleanings and the Cost of Delaying Care

Regular dental checkups are a critical part of your oral hygiene and dental health, yet it seems that far too many people are all too willing to let these appointments slide.

In fact, in a recent survey conducted by ORC International and commissioned by Aspen Dental Management, we see some surprising statistics:

  • 39% of American adults say they will delay dental care because of their financial situation
  • 80% are aware that postponing dental care will cost them more in the long run
  • 53% of those surveyed consider routine dental visits “nice to have” but not a necessity
  • 17% said they would fix problems with their car, electronics, and household appliances before dealing with pain in their mouth

Regular dental visits and cleanings should be a part of your dental routine from a very young age.

In fact, the ADA recommends that children should start visiting the dentist within six months of the appearance of the first tooth.

Healthy teeth and gums is a lifetime pursuit, and your dentist needs to be a part of this journey. It can affect your smile, your dental and overall health, and your budget.

Cleaning and Checkup

Your cleaning is a chance to do more than polish your teeth. It’s also an opportunity for us to:

  • Check your gums for periodontitis, gingivitis, and oral cancer
  • Check the bite and movement of the jaw
  • Make sure no teeth are shifting
  • Spot any damaged teeth
  • See if any fillings need to be replaced
  • Take x rays

The cleaning itself will involve removal of any tartar and stains, and then we can polish the teeth and apply fluoride as necessary.

Most patients only need a standard cleaning, just to remove some plaque buildup. However, patients that haven’t been in for more than a year may need what’s called a full-mouth debridement, which is a little more involved.

Whether you need a light cleaning or deep cleaning, we treat each tooth individually to make sure we get the best results.

Why At-Home Cleaning is Not Enough

Many people are sure that if they’re brushing, flossing, and rinsing at home, and they don’t notice any pain or bleeding while they brush, they are probably fine and don’t need a trip to the dentist.

While it’s true that this is how you maintain a high level of dental health, there will always be some harmful bacteria that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.

Decay isn’t always obvious, and some plaque is nearly impossible to clean with your at-home tools. Cavities may not even hurt until they reach a certain point within your tooth. When you come in for a professional cleaning, we can take care of everything and give you a clean, fresh mouth.

Talk to Us

Your regular visit is also the perfect time for a little consultation on your at-home habits. Maybe you’re brushing too hard or with the wrong techniques, wearing away your enamel in the process. Maybe you’re eating an overly acidic diet. Maybe you’re using too much whitening.

There are a lot of ways that we can help ensure that your at-home routines will work in conjunction with your professional cleaning to get the best results.

Your Costs Now and Later

As we discussed earlier, financial situations are one of the most common reasons cited for not getting a regular cleaning. Some people don’t have the money, while others don’t have dental insurance.

Then, even if they have insurance, many people are surprised to learn there is still a cost that the patient has to deal with for any kind of advanced treatments.

The thing is, most dental insurance programs are specifically geared toward preventative treatments. Most plans will cover 100% of preventatives services, like your regular cleanings and x-rays, but the more involved the treatment, the less they cover.


Because they know that if you are getting the preventative care you need, they won’t have to cover those far more expensive costs down the road.

These companies know that modern preventative dentistry is able to save them and – more importantly – you a lot of money. Get your cleanings now, and make sure you don’t need the more advanced treatments down the road.


Our Location

2820 Lurleen B Wallace Blvd, Northport, AL 35476

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Primary Location


7:00 am-5:00 pm


7:00 am-5:00 pm


7:00 am-5:00 pm


7:00 am-5:00 pm