As well as regularly visiting your dentist, hygiene appointments should also be an essential part of your dental care. Hygienists are qualified members of the dental team who focus on preventing and treating gum disease by promoting good oral hygiene.
Cleaner teeth means that you are less likely to develop gum disease or bad breath or tooth decay. The hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and show you how to keep up the good work at home.
Gum disease causes inflammation of the supporting tissues that surround the teeth. As a result of this inflammation, the gums move away from the crowns of the teeth. This is called receding gums and may progress to erosion of the bone around the teeth with the teeth becoming loose and eventually tooth loss.
During the hygienist appointment, the dental hygienist will assess the health of your gums and teeth and look for any signs of swelling, inflammation or bleeding. The hygienist will also check for signs of oral cancer.
Plaque is the sticky layer that builds up on our teeth daily and can harbour harmful bacteria. If allowed to accumulate, it can harden and form tartar, which can add to the vulnerability of the teeth as its rough surface will attract even more plaque. If tartar forms at the gum line, the early stage of gum disease (gingivitis) can occur, which can cause inflammation of the gums.
A chief part of a hygienist’s role is to carry out a ‘scale and polish’ to remove any build-up of plaque and tartar. The hygienist uses specially designed implements to remove tartar from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line. When all the surfaces are clean, they polish teeth with a gritty polishing paste, leaving them feeling shiny and smooth.
Airflow/Air Abrasion cleaning is a simple way to effectively remove surface stains from teeth. The system uses a focused jet of compressed air, water and bicarbonate particles to gently polish away surface staining from the teeth. For more information, please click here.