The common “dental hygiene” or hygienist appointment gets no respect! Many patients view their preventive dental cleaning as “just a cleaning or a polish”, but healthy gums are critical to long term oral health. Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing are inflamed, a condition known as gingivitis.
Dental Hygienists and therapist are the best, and most under-appreciated, secret in dentistry: Their job is to ensure you never need to see your dentist for anything more than a friendly check-up. If a dentist focuses on diagnosis and treatment of a dental disease, the hygienist and the therapist focus on prevention.
Good home oral hygiene habits combined with regular preventive dental care is your best defense against gingivitis and periodontal disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist work together to recommend a preventive periodontal care program that is right for you.
A vast majority of teeth are lost due to the effects of gum disease and research has shown that early diagnosis and efficient treatment will help resolve the problem. The two most common diseases can be minimized by thorough oral cleaning. These are dental cavities or decay and periodontal or gum disease. They are both caused are by plaque, a bacteria which is allowed to build up. This is what we are brushing away when we clean our teeth. It is when areas of plaque are left that problems begin. To help you achieve and maintain optimal dental health the hygienist provides thorough teeth cleaning, dental health education and oral health advice.
Dental hygienists and therapists are specially trained in the prevention of periodontal disease and dental cavities. They aim to re-educate patients with regards to the use of toothbrushes, electronic aids, dental floss and inter-dental brushes. They carefully examine and chart your teeth and gums noting in particular: inflammation, bleeding, swelling and the presence of plaque and calculus. All the plaque and surface stains will be removed by gentle scraping and polishing.
Patients who have dental treatment such as crowns, bridgework, orthodontic treatment or even implants require special care and attention and often require aids such as super floss or mini interdental brushes which are essential to get the best look and longevity from them. These can be expensive so a little time and effort is worthwhile. These aids are sometimes difficult to master so you will be shown how best to use them and a personal hygiene plan by your hygienist will be given.