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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thank your dental hygienist!

Visiting your hygienist regularly (at least every 6 months) for a cleaning is important, especially when you're undergoing orthodontic treatment!

The following is information from The Natural Dentist about dental hygienists. Don't forget to thank your hygienist for keeping you in tip top dental health!

An Exam You Can't Cram For

We have all been there… flossing fanatically right before our dental cleaning appointment. But no last minute dash can make up for everyday care.

During the appointment, your dental hygienist can see the whole hit and miss story of how you are doing at home. Here are the details on what’s going on in your mouth when you “open wide” for your dental hygienist.

The services dental hygienists provide include:
  • Patient screening, including health history, medications, etc.
  • Assessment of oral health
  • Maintaining health and treatment records
  • Screening for oral cancer, sores, abrasions or other problems involving the soft tissue of the mouth
  • Removing plaque and calculus (soft and hard deposits) from the teeth
  • Polishing surface stains off the teeth
  • Applying preventive materials to the teeth (sealants and fluoride)
  • Taking and preparing dental radiographs (x-rays)
  • Discussing nutrition, conditions that affect oral health and links to overall health
  • Demonstrating oral care techniques
  • Recommending products for home care
  • Other duties as allowed by the state licensing authority

Cleaner Clean, For Your Health

Just because your power toothbrush whirs, spins, pulses and tells time doesn’t mean you can skip regular professional cleaning.

Hygienists remove plaque (stubborn film that contains bacteria) and hardened calculus (tartar) both above and below the gum line. Polishing with professional toothpaste follows this “scaling” treatment.

Professional cleaning should be scheduled at least twice a year, or more frequently if recommended.

The added health benefit is that many diseases show up first in the mouth, including links to serious overall health conditions. Cleanings are also screenings, so take advantage of them for your health.

(Photo courtesy of Paliaa on Flickr)

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