Why It Is Important To Visit The Dental Hygienist

Here at Stafford Street Dental Care, our main aim is for patients to have  healthy mouths. A healthy mouth helps prevent dental diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease (gum inflammation). An unhealthy mouth puts you at risk of dental disease but may also increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.  There is growing evidence which suggests links between gum inflammation and various medical conditions, so the case for good oral hygiene keeps getting stronger.

The role of the dental hygienist is crucial in achieving this.  Hygienists play a very important part in dental health care and are mainly concerned with preventive dental health and treating gum disease. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and calculus. However, perhaps their most important role is showing patients the best way to keep their teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth and if left, can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Good methods of removing  plaque are brushing with an electric tooth brush and to either use floss or little brushes to clean in between teeth.  A good home routine is vital in helping to keep a clean and healthy mouth. Any plaque that the patients miss can be removed by the hygienist.  Hygienists also give advice about diet, fluoride and about preventing tooth decay. The hygienist will work with your dental team to give you care that is tailored to your needs.

What does the dental hygienist do in the practice?

You can do a lot to help yourself and the hygienist, as you are the one who looks after your mouth in between visits to the practice. Your hygienist will  show you how to remove plaque with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

They will also  show you how to clean between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes, floss or tape.

There are many oral care products you can get, including specialist toothpastes, electric or ‘power’ toothbrushes, and mouthwashes. Your hygienist will recommend those that are best for you.

We recommend that you follow these simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  1. Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste for a minimum of two minutes
  2. Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
  3. Use either floss or interdental brushes to clean in between your teeth every day.
  4. Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.

Cutting down the amount of sugar in your diet, and the number of times that you eat during the day, can help to reduce decay. Your hygienist can help you by looking at your decay problem and your diet, and by making some recommendations for you to consider.

Chewing sugar-free gum for 10 minutes after meals can also help to prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva, which cancels out the acid produced in your mouth after drinking and eating.


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