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The Importance Of Seeing A Dental Hygienist

Why is your hygienist visit important in maintaining a healthy mouth?

The main role of the dental hygienist is the prevention and treatment of gum disease also known as periodontal disease.

Did you know that gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is one of the most widespread diseases in the world is preventable and can easily be treated if caught early enough? Gum disease is also linked to several systemic diseases which include heart disease, Type II diabetes, stroke and even Alzheimer’s. So, maintaining a healthy mouth could help your general health and well-being.

So, what is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by the build-up of bacteria around the gum line which is found in a sticky film called plaque. Plaque that is not removed can become hardened to form calculus commonly known as tartar. Plaque needs to be removed by brushing and cleaning between the teeth twice a day.

If not cleaned properly the gums can become red and swollen, bleed when brushing or eating and the gum can start to come away from the teeth. If left untreated over time the bone that supports your teeth can be destroyed, the gums can shrink and eventually the teeth can be become loose and fall out. The early stages of red swollen gums is called gingivitis and can easily be treated with a good daily oral hygiene regime.

How can the dental hygienist help?

The hygienist will make a comprehensive assessment of your gum health and discuss what hygiene therapy you will need. The hardened plaque (calculus) will be removed from around the teeth and the hygienist will advise you on how best to care for your teeth and gums at home.

This will include finding the correct toothbrush and technique for your mouth and how to effectively use interdental brushes or dental floss to clean in those often neglected spaces in between the teeth. The hygienist may also discuss the role of plaque in tooth decay, diet and the impact of smoking on your oral health.

So why does the hygienist provide this treatment and not the dentist?

The hygienist is professionally trained in the treatment and prevention of dental disease, especially periodontal disease and works closely with the clinical team in delivering these services. Modern dentistry involves working as a team utilising the skills and expertise of each team member to deliver the best dental care package for our patients.

Although our hygienists are great at what they do, they can only do so much. You can do a lot to help yourself in between visits. Using your toothbrush effectively and cleaning in between the teeth can really help to reduce plaque and tartar build up. An effective home routine is key in the fight against gum disease.

A hygiene visit should be nothing to fear. The hygienist can easily alter things to put you at ease, so do tell them how you are feeling.

We also have a number of dental plans to ensure seeing the hygienist regularly is easy. If you have any questions about your treatment or the plans that we offer, feel free to chat to our friendly reception team, or patient coordinator.