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.
The cleaner your teeth, the less likely you are to develop gum disease. A hygienist will not only thoroughly clean your teeth but will also show you how to keep up the good work at home.
Gum disease causes inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the teeth and, if not treated, it can lead to recession of the gums. This can cause pockets to develop as the gum moves away from the tooth and can eventually lead to loosening of the teeth.
During an appointment, the 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.