Why should you visit a dental hygienist regularly and how can you get the best out of your relationship with them?
Why your hygienist is your best friend
We’re all used to being told that regular visits to our dental hygienist are essential if we are to enjoy a lifetime of oral health. Clean, healthy teeth not only feel great, but they also help us to speak, eat and smile with confidence. On the other side of the coin, tooth decay and extractions can be painful and lead to extensive dental work. There is also growing evidence of the link between poor oral health and systemic health conditions such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
So, as you can appreciate there’s plenty more to be gained from your hygiene appointment than just a regular scale and polish.
Knowledge is power
Oral hygiene advice: According to Julie Deverick, experienced dental hygienist and President of the British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy, your dental hygienist and therapist should not only provide treatment in the surgery, but should also give you advice on how to look after your teeth and gums at home. For instance, when it comes to flossing, “it’s a real skill and the technique is different depending on the type of floss you use. Your hygienist can show you how to do it properly.”
Efficient and comfortable treatment: When treatment is required, you want to know your clinician is using the best equipment. For hygiene care this is often an ultrasonic scaler, such as the Cavitron®. This equipment uses vibration to gently remove deposits from your teeth and is generally considered the most efficient and comfortable way to give a really deep clean, remove stains and restore oral health. The latest model, the Cavitron Touch, has been designed specifically with patient comfort in mind by minimising the noise it makes by reducing the amount of water it uses during treatment.
Confidence: Your clinician should always check that they are using the techniques and instruments that suit your particular condition, so they can deliver the best quality treatment. For instance, the Cavitron has a number of different ‘inserts’ or tips that are used for different areas of the mouth and different treatments. Cavitron ultrasonic scalers come with wear guides to ensure clinicians know when the inserts are worn – worn inserts decrease the effectiveness of the treatment you receive, making it longer and less comfortable.
Julie says that dental hygienists and therapists find that the better informed their patients, the more successful they are at maintaining healthy teeth and gums. She said, “As hygienists and therapists, part of our role is to inform patients about how to look after their teeth successfully. Having patients who are well informed and interested means we can have more meaningful discussions about the most effective treatment and ongoing care.”
So, next time you visit the hygienist, be open, ask questions and give feedback on the treatment you have received. If you experience sensitivity, let them know. By doing this, you will make the most out of your relationship with your hygienist and stand the best chance of enjoying a lifetime of strong, healthy teeth.
To find out more about the Cavitron and Smart Scaling, visit dentsplysirona.com/Oralhealth or speak to your hygienist.