For most of us, visiting the dentist is fairly commonplace; it is something we have done since childhood and generally speaking we know what to expect from a routine appointment. In recent years there has been a much greater uptake in patients booking to see a dental hygienist as well, so for anyone who hasn’t been to a hygienist appointment before, here at CK Dental we want to give you a clearer idea of what to expect.
When we were young, dental hygienists didn’t exist – your dentist would have been responsible for cleaning and polishing your teeth as part of the appointment. In recent years, more of more dental hygienists have joined the profession and they are able to help support patients and dentists with their expertise.
Julie Rosse, president-elect of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, explains; “the dental hygienist is a vital member of the dental team, an expert in periodontal care (care of the gums) who can help prevent problems arising.”
Their support enables dentists to focus on the bigger picture and the more specialist areas that require their knowledge and expertise.
Your dental hygienist check-up covers
In a nutshell, what is a dental hygienist responsible for? There are in fact many things…
- Generally making sure your teeth and gums are clean and are being looked after properly
- Keeping an eye on your gums to check for warning signs of more serious conditions such as gingivitis
- Talking you through how to get the best from products such as floss
- Monitoring plaque levels and helping to remove any build up
- Answering any questions you may have about your oral health and how best to look after your teeth and gums
- Advising on lifestyle choices which may be causing damage to your teeth and gums, for example, smoking or eating/drinking a lot of sugary things
- Small scale procedures, such as tooth whitening, x-rays, tooth scaling
Your dentist will keep a close eye on your oral health during routine appointments and will advise whether or not they believe you should also book to see a hygienist. If you’re interested in booking a check-up with our dental hygienist, call 0117 905 9866.