Alongside your dentist, a dental hygienist provides vital care and advice to help you look after your smile. Specially-trained members of the dental team,” hygienists'”, core focus is on preventative dental healthcare and on treating gum disease.
The main role of the hygienist is the prevention and treatment of gum disease, one of the primary causes of tooth loss for adults. Gum disease is a very common condition and most people will suffer from the milder form, gingivitis, at some point in life. Early symptoms include blood on your toothbrush or in your rinsing water when you brush your teeth.
Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth. Regular visits to your hygienist will help to spot gum disease early, and will stop it developing into the more serious form of the condition, periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss.
At your dental hygiene appointment, your hygienist will thoroughly scale and polish your teeth to remove all plaque and tartar, particularly important for areas that are difficult to reach at home and also for patients who wear braces, which can be difficult to clean around.
Your hygienist will also give you home care advice, including the best brushes, products and techniques to use to keep your mouth healthy.
The benefits of professional teeth cleaning include:
- Plaque removal. Tartar (also referred to as calculus) and plaque buildup, both above and below the gum line, can result in serious periodontal problems. Unfortunately, even with a proper home brushing and flossing routine, it can be impossible to remove all debris, bacteria and deposits from gum pockets. The experienced eye of a dentist or hygienist using specialized dental equipment is necessary to catch potentially damaging buildup.
- A healthier looking smile. Stained and yellowed teeth can dramatically decrease the esthetics of a smile. Prophylaxis is an effective treatment in ridding the teeth of these unsightly stains.
- Fresher breath. Bad breath (or halitosis) is generally indicative of advancing periodontal disease. A combination of rotting food particles (possibly below the gum line) and potential gangrene stemming from gum infection, results in bad breath. The routine removal of plaque, calculus and bacteria at our facility can noticeably improve halitosis and reduce infection.
Professional dental cleaning can be performed at our office. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for periodontitis sufferers. It should be noted that gum disease cannot be completely reversed, but dental prophylaxis is one of the tools Dr. Kaminsky, Dr. Wolf, Dr. Gerson and Dr. Titlebaum can use to effectively halt its progression.