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  • Writer's pictureSheen Dental

Do I need to visit a hygienist?

It's no secret that brushing and flossing are both essential for oral hygiene, but what about visiting a dentist? Dentists offer a variety of services beyond just cleanings – they can also help you with problems like cavities, gum disease, and even oral cancer. In this article, we'll explore the importance of visiting our hygienist Richmond at Sheen Dental for a checkup and a scale-and-polish.

Dental checkups and a scale-and-polish?


A dental check-up is an important part of oral care. During a checkup, your dentist will examine your teeth and gums for any signs of problems, such as cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer. They will also clean your teeth and polish them to remove any built-up plaque or tartar.


A scale-and-polish is a deep cleanse of your teeth, and it is performed using a machine called an ultrasonic scaler. This process involves using a small, hand-held device that utilises vibrations and water to break up plaque and tartar deposits on your teeth. Our hygiene team will also use special instruments to manually remove any areas of stubborn plaque and tartar. They will then finish by polishing your teeth using a rotating brush head, which will give your teeth a lovely shine.


If you have good oral hygiene habits at home and visit our dentist regularly for checkups, you may not need to see our hygiene team very often. However, if you have noticed that your teeth are starting to look a bit yellow or feel fuzzy, it might be time to see our hygienist Richmond for a good clean-up!


What is tartar?


Tartar is a hard, yellow-brown deposit that forms on the teeth as a result of plaque. Plaque is a type of biofilm of aerobic bacteria that forms on teeth consuming sugars, and if it is not disrupted, it will harden into tartar.


Tartar can cause tooth decay and gum disease. It acts as a reservoir for bacteria to re-infect gums, thus prolonging gingivitis. So it is important to remove plaque regularly by brushing and flossing, and any tartar can be cleaned out by our dentist.


When plaque is not removed, it can harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed with a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. If tartar is not removed, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.


Getting a scale-and-polish without seeing a dentist


If you're looking for a way to get a scale-and-polish without seeing a dentist, you may be able to do so via the hygiene team at our surgery.


During the appointment, our hygienist Richmond will remove any tartar from your teeth and then polish them. Depending on how long it has been since your last scale-and-polish, you may need to have this done every six months or so. A scale-and-polish would not only improve the appearance of your teeth but also reduce the chances of cavities forming in the future; a polished tooth surface stops the adhesion of bacteria to the enamel. Before considering dental whitening or veneers, a thorough dental cleaning offers many benefits with fewer side effects and a lower cost.

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