Q. Will every dentist hire a hygienist?
A. While it’s common to see a hygienist at your dentist’s surgery, not all dentists choose to hire them. However, more and more dentists are seeing the need to secure the help of a hygienist, so it’s likely your surgery will have one soon – if not already!
Hygienists can now work while your dentist is away, providing you have been seen by the dentist prior to this and the correct treatment is prescribed for you.
Q. Why is treatment from a dental hygienist important?
A. In order to keep your mouth healthy and free from disease, you should keep it as clean as possible. One of the best ways to do this is by combining regular professional cleaning and looking after your teeth at home.
Remember, keeping your mouth clean and healthy will improve your appearance and keep your breath fresh for longer!
Q. Could my hygienist help prevent dental disease?
A. Dental hygienists are actually trained to prevent dental diseases – so the answer to this is yes. Your hygienist will remove all the hard deposits of tartar from your teeth and advise you on how to prevent them returning. This will help to prevent gum disease.
Your hygienist can also talk to you about other preventative measures such as your diet that could help you slow the progress of infections further. It’s import to maintain regular visits with your hygienist to ensure your mouth stays health.
Q. Is there any other help adults can receive?
A. If you’ve suffered from a lot of decay to your teeth, you may benefit from receiving fluoride treatment. You could also ask about anti-bacterial gel that can be applied to your gum to neutralise bacteria.
Q. Is there any help on offer for children?
A. Your dental hygienist can help your children by polishing their teeth, applying fluoride gels and other solutions to help fight decay and disease. Your children could also have their back teeth (adult teeth) protected using a special plastic coating on the biting surface as soon as they come through.
Q. Couldn’t my dentist just do this work?
A. While some dentists will do this work, many now realise that the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out scaling and polishing and can afford to spend much longer with you. Hygienists are also trained in helping you look after your teeth and gums.
Your hygienist may spend several appointments preparing your gums ready for the dentist to restore your teeth with crowns, for example, or fillings.
Q. Will dental hygienist treatment hurt?
A. Most treatments, such as scaling and polishing, are usually pain free. However, in the event of you experiencing discomfort, your hygienist can use some light anaesthetic or cream.
Q. Is dental hygienist treatment costly?
A. The overall cost of your treatment with a dental hygienist will vary depending on what is actually being done. It’s important to discuss costs before you go ahead with any treatment, though.
Q. Is there anything I can do to help my dental hygienist?
A. You can do quite a lot to help both you and your hygienist! The main - and most obvious – thing you can do is keep your mouth and gums clean between visits. Your hygienist should have shown you the best way to remove plaque and prevent tartar; so it’s best to take heed of this advice.
To ensure your mouth stays healthy, there are three simple steps you should follow:
1) Take time brushing your teeth – two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste (one that contains at least 1350 part per million of fluoride).
2) Reduce the amount of sugary food and drinks you consume.
3) Visit your dentist as often as they recommend – and always schedule your next visit while you’re there!
Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, as well as the number of times you eat during the day, can seriously help to target decay. What’s more, you could chew some sugar-free gum after mealtimes – this will cause more saliva to be produced in your mouth, which will cancel out the acid that is created after eating and drinking.