While your dentist is there to take care of problems as they arise, dental or oral hygienists can show you how to prevent dental problems from occurring from the start and help recuperate after major dental work. Working alongside your dentist, your local West hygienist will offer a range of services.
The key role of a hygienist is preventative care. Keeping teeth free of plaque, the soft ‘biofilm’ of bacteria that develops on teeth, is the most important step in proper dental hygiene. Hygienists are able to advise you on maintaining plaque free teeth and preventing tooth decay. The preventative care hygienists recommend can range from the correct way to brush your teeth, the importance of flossing, through to having a healthy diet and regular check-ups.
At your regular check-up, the hygienist will clean your teeth, what is known as ‘scaling and polishing’. While regularly brushing and flossing your teeth will remove the majority of plaque, hygienists can do a deep clean to find any spots that may have been missed and remove unsightly tooth stains that can occur from coffee, cigarettes and other products. Over time plaque can harden into ‘calculus’ which is too firm to be removed by a tooth brush. Using electric instruments, hygienists can quickly and safely remove plague and calculus to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Dental hygienists can also provide more advanced services. Dental x-rays are now often carried out by qualified hygienists in order to diagnose dental problems. A hygienist can also apply dental sealant, a thin plastic coating along the teeth, to provide additional protection against plaque. Fluoride, an essential ingredient of toothpaste, can also be applied directly by hygienists in order to prevent tooth decay.