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Why is it important to see a dental hygienist?

A raw insight into all the risks you take by avoiding your hygienist. Spoiler alert: there could be much more than you expect

Charlotte Manahan
9 October, 2020
315 Views

‘A third of adults have never visited a dental hygienist”. This statistic is a result of a study conducted by the reputable TePe and it shows that more education is needed for the public to understand why seeing a dental hygienist is so necessary.

Why is it so important to visit the dental hygienist regularly?
Every day on average we remove around 60% of the harmful plaque with our toothbrushes. So what happens with the remaining 40% we don’t remove? A dental hygienist uses tools to gently remove this hard & soft plaque as well as educating and creating tailored advice to improve our plaque control success, consequently improving oral health and protecting ourselves from oral disease which the remaining plaque can cause.

Often daily routines get skipped or rushed, we live busy lives and we then get into bad habits. Most patients report great motivation after seeing their hygienist which encourages them to improve their oral health. I always explain this to my patients like my relationship with the gym. If my personal trainer is there, my motivation levels during and after fluctuate, visiting a hygienist can be the same. Hygienists can pick up on bad habits we may all be doing daily without realising, creating irreversible damage to our teeth.

What happens with the remaining 40% harmful plaque we don’t remove with our toothbrush?

ORAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

Gum disease affects most of the population, some reversible and some irreversible which can lead to tooth loss. Your dental hygienist will screen you for gum disease at every appointment to prevent, treat and maintain. Tooth decay is another dental disease that can be prevented if you attend a hygienist regularly, as removing plaque and calculus will stop enamel destruction. Dental professionals are trained to spot early signs of decay. If spotted early enough decay can be reversed in the early stages through fluoride, diet and oral hygiene advice.

‘How to treat bad breath’ is the most googled health problem.

BAD BREATH (halitosis) is very common and something we’re all most conscious of. When soft and hard plaque builds up it can create odours that won’t go away unless cleaned professionally. Impacted wisdom teeth, hairy tongues and smokers will suffer more from this, and hygienists know exactly how to treat & prevent it .

You should see your hygienist more than your doctor

Dental hygienists have been very successful at encouraging their patients to quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption due to awareness of oral & general health implications. Smoking commonly causes gum disease but also masks the symptoms, which increases the chance of disease progression without any warnings. You should see your hygienist more than your doctor, which means they have more time with you to discourage from this deadly habit.

For people who smoke and drink heavily, the risk of oral cancer may be as high as 100 percent more than those that don’t. Oral cancer sometimes presents itself without symptoms, which prevents early detection, which is paramount. At every appointment hygienists screen patients in and out the mouth for signs of oral cancer where the patient can’t visibly check. If you are not seeing a dental professional regularly who is checking your soft tissues?

We all want a white smile especially in recent years. Tooth whitening and cosmetic treatments are on the rise and why not? We want to make the best of ourselves, right!? Having dental cleaning, airflow & whitening treatments from your hygienist will brighten up your smile giving you the confidence to smile. Clean teeth with a smooth surface will make it harder for plaque to adhere to, if you have sticky teeth because of the film of plaque on, the surface will act as a velcro for plaque and stain creating a bad cycle, yellow appearance and more build up.

Have you read the recent studies that have linked heart attacks and strokes to gum disease? Yes, you read that correctly. All because of bad oral hygiene and care. Dental cleaning will lower the risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and much more by disturbing the bacterial load in the mouth.

Book an appointment with your dental hygienist now and then maintain every 6 months, more if you are suffering with gum disease. A healthy mouth is a healthy heart.

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