Are you wondering what a dental hygienist does?
Dental hygienists play a critical role in the clinical team at your dentist. The key to good dental health is the prevention of problems; a hygienist is crucial in the battle against tooth decay and gum disease. Their assessments, care, and advice will help you keep your teeth in tip-top condition and avoid major problems. If you are considering making an appointment with a dental hygienist but feel unsure, here’s a guide to how they can help you and why they should be part of your healthcare routine.
Reviewing Dental and Health History
A dental hygienist is a highly trained healthcare professional who ensures you get the best care and self-care advice. They will take a comprehensive health and dental history from you to assess the best way to deliver care. For example, if you take anticoagulants, they would need to be sure your clotting times were within normal parameters to avoid excess bleeding from gums. The hygienist will also ask about how you care for your teeth, including brushing and flossing techniques, so they can assess how to help you with practical approaches.
When dental hygienists examine you, they screen for other medical conditions. For example, they assess for gum disease and any signs of infection. They also screen for oral cancers, especially in people with a high risk of developing cancer, such as smokers.
Conducting Dental Cleanings
A significant part in the role of a dental hygienist is conducting dental cleanings. Their work involves clearing plaque buildup and identifying signs of gum disease. They will look for areas where attention is needed, such as cleaning under a bridge or where tartar is gathering. Hygienists will also detect places where your toothbrush has not been as effective as other parts of your mouth, such as rear molars, and advise you on how to improve brushing. They will also polish your teeth as a finishing touch. You can book an appointment with a dental hygienist to keep your teeth in good health.
Taking Dental X-rays
Taking X-rays is another aspect of the dental hygienist’s role. An X-ray will identify areas of concern. In particular, they are looking out for areas of decay and disease that cannot be seen by visually inspecting the mouth. All these are important when the hygienist is planning treatment and identifying areas of concern for focused attention. A panoramic X-ray is a picture of the entire mouth and associated bone structures and will help identify severe gum disease.
Applying Preventive Care
The dental hygienist wants you to have healthy, strong teeth and gums. They do significant amounts of preventive work by cleaning and polishing teeth, removing tartar and plaque buildup, and checking for areas of concern. Hygienists take the opportunity while you are in the chair to give helpful advice to prevent problems. Examples include cutting down on sugar, stopping smoking, and reducing alcohol intake, and they will tell you why flossing is essential. If you have bridges or braces, a hygienist will advise on how to keep them in good condition so they don’t cause damage or need to be replaced.
Teaching Patients Good Dental Hygiene
You may think you know how to brush your teeth, but you’ll learn a lot from the dental hygienist. They will advise on good brushing techniques so you get into all the corners of your mouth and avoid plaque buildup. Your hygienist can also recommend the right toothbrush for your mouth, such as softer bristles, and will show you how to floss if you are new to flossing. In addition, you’ll learn how to avoid gum disease and how frequently you should clean your teeth. By the time you finish your appointment, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to care for your dental hygiene—and your teeth will have received a stellar polish.
Visiting a dental hygienist should be a routine part of your healthcare, along with other screening appointments. You’ll prevent severe tooth decay and other dental problems by making regular appointments and maintaining a robust tooth care regime. So reach out and call us at Mosman Fine Dental to make your dental hygiene appointment today.