8 months ago
Dental hygienists play an essential role in dental health care. They typically work under close supervision of a dentist and are licensed to administer care to patients in terms of dental care. Dental hygienists undergo specialised training in preventive dental care. They make sure that patients know how to properly care for their teeth and gums to prevent onset of dental problems like plaque, tartar, and gum disease. They do this by showing patients how to clean their teeth properly using interdental brushes, floss, or tape. They show patients how to remove plaque using a fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush. You can discuss your diet with your hygienist, since what we eat also affects dental health.
Hygienists also administer teeth whitening and professional dental cleaning, which is also known as “scaling and polishing”. A round of professional teeth cleaning keeps teeth and gums healthy, as well as improves one’s appearance, gives fresh breath, and boosts self-confidence. Aside from professional teeth cleaning and preventive dental health care, hygienists can also take dental x-rays. Those who practice this will have undergone proper training, hold a certificate, and are licensed to take x-rays. The dentist will then use the x-rays to diagnose the patient’s problem.
Ideally, it’s recommended to have a dental check-up twice a year, or once every six months. Generally, it varies—some people do not need to go as often, while some may require more frequent dental check-ups. Time in between check-ups may vary from three months to as long as two years. The frequency and urgency to see your hygienist depends on your overall oral and dental health, plus your risk of dental problems. If you are unsure, consult your dentist.
Your dentist will tell you how frequent your check-up will be and when your next check-up is based on how healthy your teeth and gums are. If you generally have perfect, healthy, and untreated teeth, the optimal time to visit your hygienist is once every six months. Untreated teeth in this case refer to teeth that have not undergone any restoration, fillings, and crowning. This also includes those who don’t have a history of dental problems and gum disease. If you have had crowns or fillings applied, or a history of dental problems and gum disease, it’s best to visit your hygienist once every four months.
If you are highly susceptible to dental problems and gum disease, have badly damaged teeth, or have a lot of implants, bridges, crowns, and dentures present, see your hygienist as urgently as once every two or three months. Children are more vulnerable to dental problems such as decay and inflamed gums. It’s recommended that they see their dentist every four to six months, or sooner if the child is wearing braces. Usually, the healthier your teeth are and the lower your risk of dental problems, the longer the time before your next check-up.
Having regular dental check-ups is a very important part of maintaining overall good health and personal hygiene. You should definitely give it priority.
BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)
BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)