What to expect during your appointment with our dental hygienists
29 Sep 2020
Hygienists are clinically trained dental professionals who focus on maintaining optimal gingival (gum) health and prevention of dental conditions such as decay and erosion. They are an integral part of our practice philosophy in working with all of our patients. They carry out professional dental cleaning and educate patients in ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
Dental hygienists typically hold an Advanced Diploma or Bachelor of Oral Health degree from a University. Hygienists’ training focuses on preventative care: they evaluate the condition of your gums, teeth and mouth and offer ways to help prevent oral diseases.
The Importance of Dental Hygiene
We recommend that you regularly see a hygienist as well as your dentist every 6-12months, and in some cases this is more frequent if there are particular areas of concern/disease.
Over time calculus (tartar) builds up on your teeth, both above the gum line and below, in the natural pocket surrounding each tooth. Calculus cannot be removed simply by brushing or flossing, and so a visit to a hygienist for a professional clean is necessary to remove it. If calculus is left on the teeth over a period of time, especially below the gum line, calculus can cause gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) as well as Periodontitis, which could lead to bone loss and therefore loss of the tooth/teeth.
The majority of dental diseases are preventable. Visiting a hygienist regularly is an important step towards preventing the build-up of plaque and other oral health issues. Your dental health can affect your overall health, so it is important to keep it in check.
What to Expect during a Dental Hygiene Appointment
Before you see the hygienist, we will ask you to update your medical history to ensure that there haven’t been any changes that your clinical team need to be aware of prior to treating you.
Once with the hygienist, they will have a moment to chat to you about how you feel everything is going, if you have any concerns or specific questions for today. They will then take any necessary photos, x-rays and do a general overall assessment of your dental health. They will take a thorough look at your gums and teeth and make notes and take records.
Your hygienist will discuss any findings and next steps, and provide education and instruction for any recommended home care routines. During the hygiene appointment, your teeth will be given a thorough clean to remove any calculus build up, staining and polish any rough fillings.
Your hygienist will use a variety of tools and instruments to complete the professional cleaning, which may include the use of the Airflow® which is very popular with patients.
After the professional cleaning, your hygienist will polish your teeth and after you have had a rinse, your hygienist may recommend an in-chair fluoride treatment.
How to Care for your Oral Health between Appointments
Your dental hygienist will give you tips on looking after your oral hygiene at home, and will give you detailed instructions. Your home routine starts with brushing your teeth at least twice each day and flossing once a day.
Brushing your teeth morning and night will adequately remove plaque from most surfaces of your teeth. You should brush for approximately 2 minutes using a gentle circular motion or an electric toothbrush.
Brushing alone is not enough, however, as it doesn’t remove the plaque or food debris in between your teeth, and that is why flossing is necessary. You need to floss only once a day. Gripping each end of a length of floss between your thumbs and forefingers, slowly work it between two teeth in a gentle sawing motion that also reaches just below the gum line. It is important not to be too rough with the floss or you risk damaging your gums. Another option is Piksters, inter-dental brushes that can reach areas your toothbrush cannot and are able to dislodge food and debris.
Your hygienist will work with you to develop a preventative approach that is tailored for you, depending on the condition of your dental health and the areas of concern. They can also show you the proper way to brush or floss, if you are unsure.
As well as cleaning your teeth, you can help prevent dental decay by eating balanced meals low in sugar and acid, and limiting snacking.
At Bond Street Dental we are excited to have a large team of highly skilled dental hygienists and oral health therapists.
Some have been with us for a very long time and have a very loyal following of patients. We are excited to be able to expand our team and introduce our new hygienist Steffanie Lehmann.
In addition to expanding the team, we have also listened to our patients who regularly tell us that they wished we offered Saturday appointments.
With that in mind, we are pleased to announce that from Saturday 10th October 2020 we will be open on Saturdays for dental hygiene appointments with Jessica and Steffanie.
To schedule an appointment please call 9826 4163 or email email@example.com