Dental Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is essential for healthy teeth and gums. This includes daily brushing and flossing. In addition, you should see your dentist regularly for dental exams and cleanings.

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4 Reasons Why Oral Hygiene is Important
It Affects Your Overall Health
The gap from a missing tooth can cause adjacent teeth to crookedly shift towards the gap.
Earlier Detection of Oral Diseases
Dental examinations and cleaning can help detect any oral conditions or health complications caused by oral diseases.
Prevents Tooth Loss
Tooth loss is the most common dental problem for children and adults. One of the many reasons for tooth loss is poor dental hygiene.
Helps Your Dentist Create an Oral Treatment Plan for Your
Dental conditions and mouth structures vary for each patient. These dental conditions can be detected during regular dental visits.
Regular Cleaning and Checkups
By taking care of your teeth, you can prevent more costly treatments down the line. Regular visits to your dental hygienist can be seen as a wise investment in your medical future, as it's always cheaper to prevent disease than to treat it. At Fold Dentistry, we strive to provide comprehensive dental hygiene services that aid in maintaining your oral health and keeping your smile beautiful.
Tips for Maintaining Oral Health
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
Replace your toothbrush at the signs of wear.
Visit your dentist every six months.
Floss daily.
Maintain a healthy diet.
Use dental hygiene products.
Keep hydrated throughout the day.
Don't smoke.
Consider dental sealants.
Frequently Ask Question
What happens during a dental hygiene appointment?

A dental hygiene appointment, also known as a scale and polish, is a thorough clean of your teeth conducted by a dental hygienist. It’s a step beyond your daily brushing and flossing routine and is instrumental in maintaining your oral health.

The first part of the appointment involves the hygienist inspecting your mouth to assess your oral health status. They will look for any signs of gum disease, plaque or tartar build-up. Next, the hygienist uses specialist tools to perform the scale and polish procedure. Scaling involves removing plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces, particularly from areas that are difficult to reach through regular brushing. Polishing follows the scaling process, which helps to remove surface stains from your teeth, leaving them feeling smooth and fresh.

Every appointment is an opportunity to discuss your oral hygiene habits. The hygienist can guide you on how to improve your oral care at home, demonstrating correct brushing and flossing techniques and suggesting suitable oral hygiene products. The aim of these appointments is not just to clean your teeth but also to equip you with the knowledge to keep your mouth healthy between visits.

How often should I visit a dental hygienist?

The frequency of dental hygiene visits varies based on individual oral health needs and habits. However, as a general guideline, it’s recommended to schedule a professional cleaning at least twice a year or every six months.

This recommendation works well for most people with a good oral hygiene routine and no major dental issues. However, if you have a history of gum disease, are a smoker, or are prone to cavities, your dental hygienist might advise you to come more frequently, possibly every three or four months.

Remember, these appointments are crucial to catch any potential issues early and help maintain your oral health. Moreover, regular professional cleanings can prevent the build-up of plaque and tartar, which are major contributors to tooth decay and gum disease.

Your dental hygienist will assess your oral health at each visit and suggest a personalised hygiene schedule that best suits your needs. As such, it’s important to maintain open communication with your hygienist about any changes in your oral health, as this can help them recommend the most beneficial schedule for you.

Can a dental hygienist treat gum disease?

Absolutely, dental hygienists are trained professionals capable of treating early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis. Gingivitis, if left untreated, can develop into a more serious condition called periodontitis.

Dental hygienists play a key role in preventing and treating gum disease through what’s called ‘scaling and polishing.’ During this procedure, they remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) build-up from above and below the gum line, the primary cause of gum disease. This professional cleaning process disrupts the bacterial infection causing the disease.

If the gum disease is more advanced and has progressed to periodontitis, your hygienist may carry out a deep cleaning procedure called ‘root planing.’ This process removes bacteria from the roots of your teeth to help your gums heal and reattach to your teeth.

Furthermore, your dental hygienist will provide you with tailored advice on improving your oral hygiene habits at home to prevent the recurrence of gum disease. This may include recommendations on brushing techniques, flossing, and the use of interdental brushes or mouthwashes.

In severe cases of periodontitis, you may be referred to a specialist periodontist for further treatment. Remember, regular visits to your dental hygienist can catch gum disease in its earliest stages, preventing further damage and promoting good oral health.

Can dental hygienists remove stains from teeth?

Yes, dental hygienists play a pivotal role in removing surface stains from teeth, which can result from consuming certain foods and drinks, smoking, or poor oral hygiene. They do this using a procedure known as ‘scaling and polishing’.

The ‘scaling’ part of the process involves using specialised dental tools to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque), which can harbour stains. The hygienist meticulously works around each tooth and beneath the gum line to ensure thorough cleaning.

The ‘polishing’ stage follows scaling. Using a high-powered brush and a prophylactic paste, a dental hygienist buffs the teeth, effectively polishing away surface stains. The result is a smoother tooth surface that’s less likely to attract plaque, and a brighter, fresher smile.

While dental hygienists can efficiently remove surface stains, they cannot change the internal colour of your teeth. For a more profound whitening effect, professional teeth whitening treatments are recommended. This is something your hygienist or dentist can discuss with you if you are interested in a more radiant smile.

Remember, though, while dental hygienists can help remove stains, the best way to prevent them is to maintain good oral hygiene practices at home and minimise consumption of staining substances like coffee, red wine, and tobacco. Regular hygiene appointments will complement your daily oral hygiene routine and help keep your smile bright and healthy.

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