The mouth is a mirror for the rest of the body and thus a healthy mouth is one of the most visible signs of overall health. A regular visit to a dental hygienist for thorough and professional cleaning is important for maintaining the appearance and well-being of your teeth, improving not just the condition of your teeth and gums, but also your self-confidence.
Many people brush regularly but are unsure how to maintain the best oral health. We offer guidance on how best to clean your teeth and gums with the correct brushes and techniques, and show you any areas you may be missing. Regular dental hygiene appointments are vital for keeping your teeth and gums in optimum condition, protecting you against decay and gum disease. Hygienists, in addition to numerous other services, meticulously clean all your teeth and; gums, without any need for surgical procedures or anesthetics, finishing with a polish that leaves your teeth looking and feeling great.
More teeth are lost to gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) than tooth decay (dental caries), so it is important to ensure that gums receive close attention. Everyone can benefit from hygienist therapy treatment of their teeth and gums.
These are some of the hygiene therapy treatments we can offer at InDental practice:
Scaling and polishing to remove calculus, plaque and stains from the surfaces of the teeth and dentures.
Providing patients with necessary information and advice to maintain excellent oral health, e.g. tooth brushing techniques, flossing, and nutritional advice.
Hygienists can apply fissure sealants, a protective coating applied to the molar teeth of children so that they may never need a filling.
Prophy Jet cleaning, for more extensive and heavy stains. This is a simple procedure using a pressurised particle spray to all the teeth providing a clean and fresh feeling in the whole mouth, as well as thorough stain removal.
Teeth whitening – this involves bleaching the teeth to make them lighter by several shades. This can be done in the surgery or at home with the provision of a professional home kit.
Dental hygienists are specially trained to work with the dentist to give advice on optimum oral health, They play an important part in dental health care and are mainly concerned with gum health – showing people correct home care and helping to keep the teeth and gums healthy. They will also have shown you how to clean between your teeth with interdental brushes, floss or tape. There are many oral care products now available including specialist toothpastes, powered toothbrushes, and mouthwashes. Your hygienist will recommend those that are best for you.
We recommend you follow three simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste containing at least 1350ppm (parts per million) of fluoride
- cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks
- visit your dentist 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 sugarless gum for ten minutes after meals can also help to prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva, which in turn cancels out the acid produced in your mouth after drinking and eating.
Dental hygienists are now able to take dental x-rays. The dentist will use these to help diagnose problems and decide on the possible treatment. All hygienists that take x-rays will have had proper training and will hold the relevant certificate.
If the dentist suggests that you have fissure sealants they may refer you to the dental hygienist because this is one of the treatments they are trained to carry out. Regular professional cleaning, combined with looking after your teeth and gums well at home, will help keep your mouth healthy.
A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you fresh breath. Carefully removing the hard deposits of tartar (or ‘calculus’) that build up on the teeth and teaching you how to prevent them coming back, will go a long way towards slowing the progress of gum disease.
By talking to you about your diet, and recommending other preventive measures, the hygienist can help you keep to a routine that will slow down and stop the rate at which your teeth decay. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy. Some patients who have a lot of decay can benefit from having fluoride applied. They can also have anti-bacterial gels and solutions applied under the gum to kill the bacteria causing gum disease.
Another very important part of the hygienist’s work is showing you and telling you how to look after your mouth at home. The hygienist may also suggest giving up smoking, as this will reduce staining. Recent research has also shown that smokers have more gum disease and lose more teeth than non-smokers. Your hygienist will be able to advise you on various ways of giving up smoking. InDental has trained smoking cessation co-ordinators who can signpost you in the right direction to stop smoking.
What help is there for children? Children can benefit from having their teeth polished. The hygienist can also apply fluoride gels and solutions to help prevent decay.
The permanent or adult back teeth can also benefit from having the biting surfaces sealed. This is done by applying a special plastic coating to the biting surface soon after the teeth come through.
Costs of treatment with a dental hygienist will vary depending on what is being done. Your Dental Hygienist will be able to advise you on the cost of your treatment. Our hygienists provide their services both, on the NHS and privately.
Please ask your dentist for more advice on visiting the Dental Hygienist.