The hygienist will perform thorough scaling of your teeth to remove any plaque or calculus present which is left can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. They will also advise you on the best way to care for your teeth in between your appointments. They will give you focused advice to help care for dental implants, teeth straightening appliances and may also suggest that you try to give up smoking. Smoking will have a detrimental effect on your teeth increasing the risk of gum disease and staining.
- How often should I see the hygienist?
How often you should see the hygienist will depend on the health of your teeth and gums. It may be necessary for you to attend for appointments every three months to begin with while the hygienist gets any gum disease under control. Provided you are maintaining a good oral hygiene routine in between appointments visits should then drop to every four months and eventually every six months.
- Benefits of seeing the hygienist.
There are several benefits to seeing the hygienist and they include:
- 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 the causes of gum disease.
- Removal of plaque and hard calculus deposits.
- Discussion on the secondary factors that cause gum disease, for example smoking and diabetes.
- Discussion on how 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 caries.
- The removal of food and drink stains.
- Changing 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.
- Do I need to see the dentist first?
New regulation has recently come into effect which means that you no longer need to see the dentist prior to booking an appointment with the hygienist. It must however be noted that a visit to the hygienist is not an alternative to seeing the dentist. You will still need to see the dentist for your routine appointments and the hygienist will refer you to the dentist if they notice any problems or if you require treatment which is outside of their training.
- What should I do in between hygienist visits to improve the health of my teeth and gums?
In between visits to see the hygienist you should maintain a good oral hygiene routine. This includes:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
- Be sure to change your toothbrush every three months or sooner if it becomes worn.
- Clean in between your teeth using interdental aids such as floss, interdental brushes or woodsticks.
- Aim to cut down the number of sugary foods and drinks you have throughout the day and where possible limit them to mealtimes.