Dental hygienists are highly focussed on preventative measures to improve and maintain high standards in dental health. Part of their role is to show you the correct home care regime so that you know how to keep your teeth and gums healthy. A routine hygiene visit will include a professional clean of your teeth by removing plaque and calculus (a hard build-up of plaque that occurs over time). Absolutely central to their practice is demonstrating to you the best and most effective methods of keeping all surfaces of the teeth free of plaque, this is a sticky build-up of bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth.
Why are regular hygienists visits important?
Regular professional cleaning to remove plaque and calculus, combined with looking after your teeth and gums properly at home, will help keep your mouth the healthiest it can be. A clean and healthy mouth will help you to maintain your teeth for life, make sure your breath is kept fresh and your general health is not impacted negatively.
Can a hygienist help prevent dental disease?
This is a key part of a hygienists role. They will carefully remove the hard deposits of tartar (or ‘calculus’) that build up on the teeth and teach you how to prevent it from recurring. This will do a lot to slow the progress of gum disease and control some of the risk factors. Research has been carried out that clearly shows gum disease is linked to diabetes, heart disease and dementia making treatment ever more important to your long term general health. (If you would like further information on this you can request a copy of our periodontal disease fact file at reception or by email)
As part of their preventative approach, hygienist’s will talk to you about your diet and other measures you can take to ensure your lifestyle choices help to prevent tooth decay. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy.
Why doesn’t the dentist do this treatment?
Some dentists will do this themselves. However, many now realise that the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out scaling and polishing and can spend longer with you. They are also experts at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. Often your hygienist will spend a number of appointments getting the gums healthy ready for the dentist to restore the teeth with crowns and fillings.
Will the treatment hurt?
Scaling and polishing is usually pain free. However, if you do have any discomfort the hygienist can use a local anaesthetic. It is important that you let the hygienist know of any issues immediately so they can help you to be comfortable for the entire appointment.
We recommend that you follow three simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Cut down on how often you consume sugary foods and drinks.
- Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.
If you would like more information or to book an appointment call us today or visit our website www.stjamesdental.com