Back to Basics: Visiting the Dental Hygienist

Back to Basics: Visiting the Dental Hygienist

Can you remember the last time you went to a dental hygienist? If you go to them regularly, that’s great! If you haven’t been to a clinic in a while, you may want to think about scheduling an appointment. Though brushing your teeth twice a day is great, it may lead you to think you don’t really need to see a dentist. Today, we run through some basics on visiting a dental hygienist – why it’s important, and how often you should go.
NB: Primecare Dental does not offer dental hygienist services – we are a medical dentist practice. Our dentists perform professional hygiene work. This blog aims to explain how a hygienist in particular differs from a dentist, and why you require the services of both to promote oral health.

What exactly does a dental hygienist do?

Dental hygienists are trained to work alongside a dentist in providing oral health care. Though dental hygienists and dentists work together, their services may vary. Dentists can diagnose any kind of oral disease, advise a treatment plan, and perform any necessary dental work. On the other hand, dental hygienists are more focused on preventive dental health and treating gum disease. They are responsible for cleaning your teeth and educating you on how to improve your overall oral health.
Dental hygienists are responsible for teaching you:

  • Effective tooth brushing techniques
  • The latest oral hygiene products
  • Everything about periodontal disease
  • Removal of plaque and hard tartar deposits
  • The prevention of tooth decay and erosion
  • Diet advice for superior oral health
  • The application of fluoride
  • Remineralising teeth that show early signs of tooth decay
  • How to polish teeth
  • How to maintain gum health
  • How to prevent or treat halitosis

Dental hygienists are also responsible for:

  • Thoroughly examining your mouth for swelling, inflammation, bleeding
  • Checking any signs for periodontal disease
  • Checking for plaque build-up
  • Performing deep cleaning to eradicate plaque and tartar build-up

Why do I need to visit a dental hygienist?

It’s easy to overlook the importance of seeing a dental hygienist. However, dental hygienists are the first line of defence against oral health diseases that can cause serious health issues in the long run. Researchers have discovered that gum disease is closely associated with health problems such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Therefore, you’ll need to see your dental hygienist to:
Prevent gum disease – Gum disease is one of the top causes of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is easy to miss because it’s relatively painless in the early stages. A regular visit to your dental hygienist for a dental cleaning can go a long way to help assess the state of your teeth and gums.
Prevent oral cancer – Your dental hygienist completes your oral cancer screening during each visit. This is important especially for patients who are tobacco uses. Oral cancer caught in its early stages is more likely to be treatable.
Prevent Halitosis – Since your dental hygienist is responsible for your thorough dental cleaning, patients are less likely to have bad breath. Halitosis is more common in individuals who don’t have their teeth cleaned regularly.

How often should I visit a dental hygienist?

Contrary to popular belief, the general 6-month rule is not necessarily applicable to all cases. Many factors affect the frequency of your visits to a dental hygienist. This includes your dental care, oral health, your diet, and your predisposition to gum disease.
If you have excellent dental health and have no history of gum disease, you should visit your dental hygienist every six months. When you have fillings, crowns, or a history of dental disease, you should visit every four months. If you are susceptible to gum disease caused by different factors (pregnancy, have crowns, bridges, or dentures) you should see your dental hygienist every two to three months.

Get your gums and teeth checked today

Prevent gum disease and other dental problems by going to a trusted dental hygienist.
NB: As a reminder, Primecare Dental does not offer dental hygienist services – we are a medical dentist practice. Our dentists perform professional hygiene work.
For comprehensive preventative and cosmetic dentistry, try Primecare Dental. Here at Primecare Dental, we aim to give you superior oral health for a smile that you can be confident in.

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