As we head into the start of the ‘spooky season’, October also marks the start of National Dental Hygiene Month. Now is the perfect time to start considering a dental hygienist appointment, and how it can help you to achieve your dream smile.
In this blog, we take a closer look at just how important dental hygienists are to your long-term oral health alongside your dentist check-ups and the benefits of having a regular dental hygienist appointment.
What is a dental hygienist?
A dental hygienist is a crucial member of your dental care team. These skilled professionals are specialists in preventive oral health and are licensed and trained to provide a range of essential services aimed at maintaining and improving your oral health.
While many people may assume that a regular check-up with a dentist is enough, regular dental hygienist appointments are one of the best ways to help care for your teeth and gums while preventing oral health issues that can require time-consuming and more costly treatments further down the line.
Dental hygienists are also dedicated to patient education, offering valuable guidance on proper oral hygiene practices and tailoring advice to individual needs.
They are highly skilled in deep cleaning techniques and play a pivotal role in the early detection of dental issues.
What is a dental hygienist appointment?
Before we dive into the benefits, let’s first look at the types of services a dental hygienist can provide during an appointment.
Deep cleaning (scale and polish)
One of the primary functions of a dental hygienist is to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums. This involves removing plaque and tartar buildup that regular brushing and flossing may miss. The process is known as scaling and polishing, and it leaves your teeth feeling refreshingly clean and smooth.
A dental hygienist will also conduct a comprehensive oral examination. They will check for signs of gum disease, cavities, and other oral health issues. This early detection is key to preventing more serious problems down the line, and your dental hygienist can provide expert advice and tips to minimise any issues.
Oral health education
Educating patients about proper oral hygiene practices is an important aspect of a dental hygienist’s role. They will provide guidance on effective brushing and flossing techniques, recommend suitable dental products, and offer tips tailored to your specific needs to help keep your smile healthy and happy.
The benefits of regular dental hygienist appointments
There are several benefits associated with regular appointments with your dental hygienist that can help keep you, your teeth, and your gums happy and healthy in the long term.
Preventing gum disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can wreak havoc on your oral health if left unchecked. Regular hygienist appointments are a powerful tool in preventing gum disease. Dental hygienists can help remove the plaque and tartar buildup, preventing it from developing into gingivitis or other severe gum issues.
Early dental issue detection
Routine appointments enable early detection of dental problems. Your hygienist can spot issues like cavities, cracked teeth, or signs of oral cancer in their early stages when they are more manageable and less costly to treat.
One of the immediate benefits of a hygienist appointment is the fresher breath you’ll enjoy afterwards. As plaque builds up in and around your teeth, it can release unpleasant odours while breaking down particles of food, causing your breath to smell bad. Having this built-up plaque and tartar removed can significantly improve your breath, for a fresher mouth.
Regular cleaning sessions can help maintain the natural whiteness of your teeth by removing surface stains. If you’re considering teeth whitening, starting with regular dental hygienist sessions can lead to more effective and longer-lasting results.
Preserving your long-term overall health
Your oral health is closely linked to your overall health. Maintaining good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of systemic health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections.
While the cost of regular dental hygienist appointments may be a concern, it can actually help you save money in the long run. By identifying and actively preventing dental problems from worsening, you can minimise the need for more extensive and expensive treatments further down the line.
What happens at a dental hygienist appointment?
Many people may have never experienced a dental hygienist before, and some may be uncertain of what to expect from an appointment. While each visit will look different depending on the individual services you require, here’s a general guide on what to expect when you visit our dental hygienists.
Review of your medical history
Once introduced, your dentist hygienist will typically begin your appointment by reviewing your medical history. This can help to ensure that they are aware of any relevant health conditions or medications you may be taking, prior to beginning any treatment.
The hygienist will then proceed to check your teeth and give them a clean and polish using specialist equipment. This process is designed to remove any plaque, tartar, or stains from the surface of your teeth.
Examination and assessment
During the cleaning process, the hygienist will also examine your teeth and gums. This assessment allows them to identify any potential issues that may require further attention, as well as useful insights to provide tailored guidance.
Personalised oral care guidance
Once your teeth are sparkling clean, your hygienist will provide you with personalised oral care guidance. They may recommend specific products, brushing and cleaning techniques, or changes to your routine to help improve your oral hygiene.
How long is a dental hygienist appointment?
The duration of a dental hygienist appointment can vary depending on several factors, including the extent of cleaning needed and the complexity of your oral health. On average, dental hygienist appointments typically last between 30 minutes to one hour.
It is worth noting that regular appointments may take less time compared to initial appointments, as there is less buildup to address.
Why Beaulieu Dental?
Whether you are in Chelmsford or live in the surrounding area, Beaulieu Dental is here to help you smile with confidence and maintain your oral health for the long term.
From deep cleaning to personalised guidance, our team of highly experienced dental hygienists are dedicated to keeping your smile bright and healthy.
We also offer direct access appointments with our dental hygienists, so you can book without first seeing one of our dentists.
Get in touch today to find out more and book your next dental hygienist appointment.