Q. What is the difference between me cleaning my teeth and the dental hygienist cleaning them for me?
A. There is a whole world of difference between the two. To understand the importance of getting your teeth cleaned by a hygienist you have to look at the role of the hygienist.
A hygienist is a licensed health professional and oral health educator who has an important role to play in the overall health and welfare of the public.
The dental hygienist is an integral part of the dental team, providing direct patient care based on the prevention of disease.
The techniques, equipment and materials they use to clean your gums is more thorough than a manual bristle brush. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use your brush: your manual toothbrush removes the daily plaque build-up but it doesn’t clean between your teeth and especially underneath your gums.
The hygienist has at her disposal equipment which can remove the most stubborn of hard plaque and tartar between teeth and he or she can also clean deep under the gums, removing food debris and bacteria that has been there for years.
By getting underneath the gums, the hygienist can remove the bacteria build-up that causes gum disease and bleeding gums when brushing. This is one of the major reasons why most people lose their teeth as they get older.
We recommend you see your hygienist every three months to get a thorough clean and to ensure your gums are healthy.
This will reduce the risks of getting gum disease if you follow your hygienist’s oral health advice along with your regular daily brushing.
In the long-term, seeing the hygienist will contribute to ensuring you keep your natural teeth for as long as possible whilst also gaining valuable knowledge that can be passed on to the next generation.