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  • Writer's pictureSheen Dental

The vital role of an oral hygienist

We all want a quick fix to straight, white teeth and a beautiful smile - the kinds we see on movie stars, but many of us seem less driven to take care of our teeth properly. Either we do not know how to, are not willing to invest the time, or do not care. The role of our hygienist in Richmond is to inform you about the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth, and the repercussions of not cleaning your teeth properly and ignoring the early signs of mouth infections.

Visit our clinic, Sheen Dental, twice a year for a scale and a polish, and to stop gum disease and periodontal issues in their tracks before they develop into something more serious that could result in you experiencing major teeth and bone loss.

What does a check-up with the hygienist entail?

Our dental or oral hygienist in Richmond specialises in preventative dentistry, with a keen focus on gingivitis, an easily treatable gum disease if caught early enough, as well as periodontitis, advanced periodontitis and tooth decay.

Your visit to us includes a professional cleaning called a scale and polish that removes plaque build up and tartar from your teeth and gums, as well as marks and stains on your teeth with special pastes.

Patients with gingivitis will undergo a deep cleaning, also called a ‘scaling and root planing’, which is different from a routine clean in that the scaling administered is more thorough and probes deeper to rid your teeth and gums of stubborn plaque and hardened tartar deposits, this might take a couple of sessions depending on the severity of your issue. The planing action of the deep clean smooths the rough surfaces of your teeth roots to prevent bacteria from re-sticking to the gumline, thus giving your gums the space to heal and to attach themselves more tightly around your teeth.

To prevent your teeth and gums from further damage, you will be instructed on how to brush and floss properly to avoid these issues in the future. We will also ask you about your eating habits and whether you smoke. We can advise on how you can improve your diet and stop smoking if at all possible.

Signs to look out for if you think you have gum disease

In the early days, it is hard to diagnose gum issues yourself because there is no pain and few other visible signs of it.

As the infection progresses, you will notice that your gums turn red, become inflamed, feel sensitive, and easily bleed when you brush and floss. You will also have bad breath that does not cease, even after repeatedly rinsing with a good mouthwash.

You might also see deep pockets forming between your teeth and gums. Usually, the distance between the teeth and gums in a healthy mouth should be no wider than a millimetre.

If our dental hygienist in Richmond suspects that you have gingivitis, they will use an instrument that measures the gap. If it is more than four millimetres, you will urgently need to undergo treatment. A larger gap points to receding gums that are separating from your teeth, which could result in your teeth breaking and bone loss.

A dental hygienist has an important role to play in the prevention of diseases and the promotion of optimal oral health. Next time you book an appointment, listen to their handy and helpful tips on brushing and flossing and other sage advice, it could save you from irreversible issues down the line.


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