Why visit your Dental Hygienist
Having your teeth cleaned by your dental hygienist at his or her suggested interval (generally every 6 months) is crucial to maintaining good oral hygiene. There are things that your dental hygienist can detect, that you however cannot. You will also get to see your dentist, who can detect things that your hygienist however cannot. This line of defense will be your saving grace to oral health!
The Check Up
The dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth, take radiographs and diagnose any issues that may be happening in your mouth – these issues can be anything from ‘watch spots’ (area’s to make note that a cavity may be forming) to area’s that need extensive care (root canal treatments, extractions, or fillings etc.)
Your hygienist will then do a tongue, throat, face, head, and neck examination to determine that there is no swelling, or abnormal marks that may indicate cancer. Next your gingiva will be examined using a probe (similar to a ruler – but obviously much smaller). The hygienist will record the probe depths (space between your gums and the teeth). Healthy gums would read anywhere from 1-3mm of depth, unhealthy gums would read anything above that. In some cases, a higher depth may indicate gingivitis (swelling of the gums due to poor oral hygiene) or periodontal disease (bone loss, due to continuous poor oral hygiene). Whichever the case, your hygienist will provide you with the information that you need to rectify this situation.
Once all of the preliminary assessments of your mouth are completed, your dental hygienist will now clean your teeth. He or she will use several tools, some electronic and some hand motorized to ensure all of the tartar and stain are removed from your teeth. The next step is to polish the teeth – to remove any left-over stain and to leave you with smooth vibrant teeth. The hygienist will also floss your teeth, using whatever method suits your situation (flossing will be different for people with bridges, or orthodontic retainers, etc.).
What to do between visits?
It is important to ensure you aim to keep impeccable oral hygiene between dental visits – this will leave you with more money in your pocket (less work to be done) and an easier and shorter appointment. Tips to PHENOMINAL oral hygiene area as follows:
– brush twice daily
– floss ATLEAST once per day, before bed (but ideally you would be flossing every time you brush)
– rinse your mouth with an antibiotic mouth rinse after brushing (Listerine or Crest for example)
– use a fluoridated toothpaste (your hygienist can recommend a great toothpaste for your unique mouth)
Teeth cleaning is important not only for your oral health, but overall health. Bleeding gums isn’t something that should be ignored, it should be something that should be addressed – so see your dental hygienist and dentist regularly to maintain GREAT overall health!