The importance of seeing your hygienist

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dentist and patient

Whilst we may have heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the dentist away’, did you also know that as part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums, it is also important to see a hygienist? If you are based in Richmond and are planning to see your dentist, it may also be a good idea to see a hygienist as well.

What is a hygienist?

A hygienist plays a very important part in helping to prevent dental problems in both adult and child patients. For example, they are able to identify and treat the early signs of both gum and periodontal disease which can cause issues such as bad breath. They are also able to clean your teeth thoroughly, reaching areas of your teeth and mouth which you may not be able to clean properly through daily brushing and flossing.

What to expect when you visit a hygienist

If you decide to have a hygiene treatment or are advised by your dentist that you should see a hygienist, your teeth, gums and mouth will firstly undergo a thorough assessment. This assessment will identify the amount of plaque and calculus which has built up on your teeth and will need to be removed. The plaque and calculus will be cleaned professionally by the hygienist using pastes and special equipment.

Once your teeth have been cleaned the hygienist will take time to advise you on how to look after your teeth to avoid further plaque build-up by informing you on how to brush and floss properly.

What are the benefits of regularly visiting a hygienist?

By frequently visiting a hygienist to aid your oral health regime, you can expect a number of benefits. For example, there is a reduced risk of developing bad breath, early detection of gum disease if present, and teeth feel and look extra clean and fresh after a visit.

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Dental hygiene for children

Having healthy teeth is also just as important for children as adults, and by implementing a good oral health regime from a young age it can set some good dental habits as a child grows. A failure to do this can result in dental issues such as infection and disease.

Once your child is around the age of 1 or 2, you should be using a soft child sized toothbrush and water to brush their teeth at least twice a day. You can also use a small dab of toothpaste, however it is important that the toothpaste does not have any fluoride in it. Once your child is able to brush their teeth independently they can switch to using a toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Fluoride is very important when it comes to children’s dental health as it is known to help make teeth strong by hardening the tooth enamel. Fluoride also reduces cavities in both baby and adult teeth. Children’s teeth are typically harder to clean therefore they can experience cavities if their teeth are not being taken care of properly. Also it is important to monitor and limit how much sugar your child consumes, as the sugar in food and drinks can turn into acid which can eat away at their teeth.

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