Dental hygienists specialise in preventative oral care, with their focus on ensuring you keep your natural teeth for as long as possible.
In the UK, the number one cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. The hygienist will focus on removing the plaque and tarter present on your teeth which if left can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss.
Over 50% of 35-year-olds suffer from gum issues of different severities! While early gum disease is reversible, later gum disease is not. This makes it critical to nip gum issues in the bud- and your dental hygienist will be there to assist you with maintaining tip-top gum health.
Over time, through using your teeth, they can develop staining. External stains that build up on teeth cannot be removed from brushing. These stains are often caused by consuming tea, coffee, tobacco, red wine and other strong food and drinks. A hygienist has ways of removing these stains to restore your teeth to their natural whiteness.
A lot has changed in dentistry over the last few decades. This means that more patients are able to benefit from enjoying their original teeth for a lifetime. Dental hygienists play a vital role in this new approach to dentistry, helping you not just to keep your teeth, but also to avoid the discomfort and costs that come with repairs and replacements.
The hygienist may give advice on lifestyle changes which could help to improve the health of your teeth and gums, for example smoking. Smoking will have a detrimental effect on your teeth, increasing the risk of gum disease and staining. They may also give dietary advice on reducing the number of times you have sugary food and drink throughout the day.
The hygienist is able to perform a number of procedures including
- 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 tarter deposits.
- Discussion on the secondary factors that cause (periodontal) gum disease, for example smoking and diabetes.
- Discussion on how (periodontal) gum disease could affect or complicate other health problems, for example heart disease.
- Prevention of tooth decay and erosion
- 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 decay.
- Polishing the teeth to remove food and drink stain.
- Helping to change red and inflamed gums to a healthy pink.
- Stopping gums from bleeding when brushing.
- Preventing teeth from becoming mobile and drifting.
- Preventing unpleasant tastes and bad breath caused by the damaging bacteria in the mouth.
- By having regular hygienist appointments, it is possible to help change red and inflamed gums to a healthy pink, prevent teeth from becoming mobile and drifting and prevent gums from bleeding when they are brushed.
In between appointments
- Use a medium toothbrush with a rounded head
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
- Brush twice daily. Last thing at night and before breakfast in the morning
- Use toothpaste with fluoride and always place the toothpaste on a dry brush
- Try to use interdental cleaning aids daily at night before brushing
- Avoid tobacco products
- Avoid excessive alcohol use