tooth and stethoscope

Keep on smiling

We are living in tough and unprecedented times. With the recent lockdown measures imposed by the ongoing Covid19 pandemic, many people have started to pay a greater amount of attention to how they are looking after themselves. While the number of people of all ages who are dieting and exercising more regularly has increased, many of us are failing to maintain a good standard of oral hygiene. If not properly maintained, our oral health can impact on our overall health, as well as cause a number of problems socially which can impact our wellbeing in a negative way. However, thankfully, by visiting a hygienist, patients can now have their teeth professionally looked over and cleaned until they are at a healthy level of oral wellbeing. This means, therefore, they will not have to worry about how their teeth may impact on the rest of their lives.

woman getting her teeth checked by dentist

Why visit the dental hygienist?

While cosmetic dentistry treatments such as teeth whitening have gained mainstream popularity over recent years, the benefits of visiting the dental hygienist are rarely commented on. One of the main duties and responsibilities of a dental hygienist is to examine a patient’s teeth and identify if any signs of gum disease – technically called periodontal disease – are evident. Periodontal disease is the number one reason for adult tooth loss across the UK and can lead to a number of other health problems arising if it is not treated quickly. One of the earliest signs that one’s gums are in a stage of deterioration is spitting blood when brushing or flossing. This is typically an indicator that gingivitis is in development, which is one of the earliest stages of periodontal disease. However, if noticed early enough, gum conditions such as gingivitis are easily treated by an expert dental hygienist.

What can a dental hygienist do for me?

Another one of the main duties of a dental hygienist is to professionally clear away any build-up of plaque and clean a patient’s teeth. This is done through a process which is called a ‘scale and polish’. This professional cleaning service is the best treatment option for anyone who feels that they may have perhaps put their oral health on the back-burner during recent lockdown measures and are looking to ensure that their teeth are as healthy as they can be. The first stage of a professional ‘scale and polish’ treatment is called the ‘scrape’ and involves clearing away any visible marks and build-ups of plaque between the patient’s teeth. This is achieved through the use of specialised hand-held dental instruments which are designed to reach the more difficult areas between and around teeth which are often missed when brushing. After this stage has been completed comes the ‘polish’ stage of the procedure. This is when the patient’s teeth are polished using a specialised dental tool. This removes any surface stains and plaque and gives their teeth an overall cleaner and brighter aesthetic. Similar to dental whitening, the effects of a scale and polish often leave patients with a visibly brighter and cleaner looking smile.

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