Your dental hygienist is an essential member of your dental health team. A highly-trained dental professional, your hygienist is a specialist in the general maintenance of your mouth, teeth, and gums, including:
- Scale and cleans
- Assessment and treatment of gum disease
Oral hygiene at home
There are many things that you can do yourself for a life-long healthy smile and great oral hygiene. Here are our recommendations:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, after breakfast and before going to bed
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Floss once a day
- See your dentist for regular check-ups so that any early problems can be treated before major, expensive treatments are needed
- Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar and acid, especially soft drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks. Juice should not be a daily item for children or indeed adults. Think Water!
Why is oral hygiene important
If you look after your oral hygiene you can help avoid problems such as:
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Serious problems with your general health
Tooth decay is the general name we give the damage that is done when the bacteria that occurs naturally in your mouth create acid that erodes your tooth. This can lead to pain, infection and even the loss of the tooth.
If the bacteria are not cleaned and flossed away effectively, they produce acids which erode your tooth enamel over time, causing decay. Regular visits to your hygienist and dentist can help avoid this and catch any damage from decay before further treatment is needed.
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line that can also affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth if left untreated. There are three stages of gum disease — gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
Gum disease can be painless, so it is important to keep an eye on symptoms such as bleeding or inflamed gums, bad breath, pain when chewing or loose teeth. Without regular visits to your dentist or hygienist, you may not know that you have gum disease until it’s in the more advanced stages. Professional treatment from a team of the hygienist, the dentist a team of the hygienist, the dentist and sometimes the gum specialist (periodontist) is the best way to manage gum disease.
Healthy mouth, healthy body
There is a link between good oral hygiene and other health factors. Your dentist can detect mouth cancer while it is still treatable. Research has found links between the health of your mouth and diseases such as stroke and heart disease.
Make an appointment today.