Maintaining good dental hygiene is essential to keeping your oral health in good shape.
When many people hear the words ‘oral hygiene,’ they assume that brushing, flossing and rinsing are all that is required to keep a mouth healthy; this is not the case.
Indeed, many dental professionals advocate and use the assistance of another dental professional, known as a hygienist, to keep their patients’ teeth and gums in prime condition.
But, how exactly can a hygienist help maintain good oral health? Don’t they just brush your teeth and tell you to reduce sugar intake?
While this was perhaps the case when the role was first devised, in modern dentistry, hygienists are often called in to help with cases of gum disease, plaque build-up, child dentistry and even to advise pregnant women on how to keep their teeth healthy throughout pregnancy! And that’s before we get on to the scale and polish!
If your dentist recommends that you see a hygienist, it is likely that they are looking for an opinion on how to restore your mouth to its former glory; don’t worry! Many people suffer from dental issues as they age or due to illness and so, your dentist and dental hygienist near Edinburgh will work together to restore the status quo.
After an assessment, your hygienist and dentist will devise a treatment plan, which may include specific cleaning regimes, toothpastes or even medication.
During a consultation, a hygienist will perform a thorough examination of your mouth, to search for signs of gum disease, tooth decay or even oral cancer. Catching dental diseases early is essential for recovery and so, your hygienist can begin treatment for these issues immediately.
OK, so while it was joked about earlier that hygienists just brush your teeth, they actually can and do regularly perform routine cleanings.
Known as a ‘scale and polish’, this technique involves removing accumulated plaque from above and below the gum line, to prevent secondary issues like inflammation or decay.
Also, another bonus of a scale and polish is that after the polish is completed, your teeth will look a lot whiter!
Mouthwash and toothpaste
Your hygienist can also prescribe you a specialist mouthwash and toothpaste.
Particularly common for women who are pregnant, the enamel on the teeth may become damaged due to excess acid in the mouth. Your hygienist can prevent any further erosion by prescribing a toothpaste and mouthwash that neutralise excess acid in the mouth. Brilliant!
And, if your children need a masterclass in brushing their teeth, your hygienist can show them how to brush their teeth correctly. They can also show them how to remove plaque with floss without damaging their gums and can discuss healthy diets too.