A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who specializes in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene.
What does the hygienist do?
The hygienist is able to perform a number of procedures including deep cleanings, scaling and root planing for patients with periodontal disease, dental sealants, administration of fluoride, and provide instructions for proper oral hygiene and care.
What is the hygienist’s main focus?
Their main focus is to ensure that you are given the tools to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is caused by the bacteria in our mouths attaching themselves to the tooth’s smooth surface. If this is not brushed away properly, it can form tartar that is much harder to remove and can then lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
Will visiting the hygienist hurt?
Deep cleanings should be pain free. If, however you do experience any discomfort make sure that you let the hygienist know and they will be able to use anaesthetic creams or give you some local anaesthetic to reduce this.
What at the benefits of visiting the hygienist regularly?
The benefits of visiting the hygienist include, but are not limited to:
- Demonstrations on effective tooth brushing techniques to remove plaque without causing tooth wear and receding gums.
- Discussions on the latest oral hygiene products.
- Advice on the best aid to clean in-between teeth.
- Detailed explanation of periodontal disease.
- Removal of plaque and hard (calculus) deposits.
- Discuss secondary factors that cause periodontal disease, for example smoking and diabetes.
- Discuss how periodontal disease could affect or complicate other health problems, for example heart disease.
- Prevention of tooth decay (caries) and erosion
- Give diet advice on how to reduce sugary and acidic food and drink.
- Advice on fluoride and apply fluoride varnishes to help remineralise early signs of tooth caries.
- Polish the teeth to remove food and drink stain.
- Help to change red and inflamed gums to a healthy pink.
- Stop gums from bleeding when brushing.
- Prevent teeth from becoming mobile and drifting.
- Prevent unpleasant tastes and bad breath caused by the damaging bacteria in the mouth.
All this will help you to achieve a brighter and healthier smile