As some of you will be aware, many dentists are currently having to limit the number of patients they can see each day due to the Covid restrictions. The essential cleaning of equipment and practice areas between patients means that we currently aren’t able to see quite as many patients as before. This does mean that there may be longer gaps between your usual check up appointments and it is important that you are even more diligent with your personal care regimen and keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible during this time.
We have covered general oral care a number of times in our blogs and it is important to stress that you need to maintain good brushing and flossing at all times, but especially perhaps, under the current restrictions.
One thing that you can do which will really help to protect both teeth and gums is to make an appointment to see the dental hygienist at the Sync Dental Centres in Addlestone.
Whilst a dentist can perform restorative procedures where damage has already occurred to your teeth, the dental hygienist’s role is more of a preventative one. Gum disease prevention is one of the most important roles that they have, and this in turn, helps to protect your teeth as well.
We have discussed before how teeth can become loose or fall out if periodontitis is present, but even where gum disease is not present, tartar can form on the teeth and gum line creating a rough surface where bacteria can easily collect, increasing the risk of problems in the future. A professional clean helps to remove this roughness and helps to prevent issues arising.
There are three key roles that a dental hygienist has.
An important part of a hygienist’s role is to talk to you about your current oral health and its care and discuss ways in which this can be improved. This may involve a discussion on your current lifestyle choices such as whether you smoke or drink a lot of alcohol, but may also include suggestions on what type of toothpaste or mouthwash to use. Your diet might also be looked at and changes suggested.
None of this means that you will be ‘lectured’ by the hygienist. Their role is to offer advice and encouragement, but ultimately the action taken will be yours alone. We do recommend that you follow advice though as the more you do, the less likely you are to need dental treatment later on.
In addition to offering advice and answering any questions that you might have, you will also receive a ‘scale and polish’ which provides a thorough cleaning of both your teeth and the gumline. This is a non invasive procedure that requires no local anaesthetic and consists of three parts.
Step 1 – Scaling
During this stage, much of the excess tartar is removed with a tool known as a ‘scaler’. It is a manual instrument that has a hook shape at the end. This is useful for getting in the spaces between your teeth. Some patients find this the least comfortable part of the treatment and you may feel a little pulling sensation. Any discomfort felt though will be minor and should cause no concern.
Step 2 – Ultrasonic scaling
This process continues the improvements made by those in step 1. Instead of using a manual tool though, an ultrasonic tool is used which painlessly shatters remaining tartar, removing it from the teeth and gum line. This piece of equipment makes the process even more efficient than before.
Step 3 – Brushing
Although many of you probably already use an electric toothbrush, the one used by the hygienist rotates at a much faster speed than a household one and works to remove any final remnants of built up bacteria on the teeth. In addition to this, it also helps to remove some surface staining from the teeth and can leave your teeth looking whiter, smoother and fresher feeling than before.
The hygienist will also monitor your gum health and may recommend additional treatments if any issues are noticed.
Although many of our Addlestone patients already see a dental hygienist on a regular basis, usually twice a year, there are still some that don’t. To these people especially, we strongly recommend that you consider this. It is very affordable, painless and we are sure that you will notice a big difference in your mouth health following a clean. In addition to that, it will also help to reduce your chances of needing dental surgery in the future. All-in-all, a very worthwhile and important addition to your oral care programme.
You can make an appointment to see the dental hygienist at the Sync Dental Centres by calling us today on 01932 856541. We look forward to helping you gain and then maintain better oral health!