What is a Hygienist and How do They Help your Oral Health?

If you’ve been to the dentist Meath recently and they’ve told you that you need to make a hygienist appointment at first it can feel a little daunting or even embarrassing as even the word hygienist hints that there is a problem with your hygiene. But hygienists are just a special member of the team at your dentist and are there to help make sure your teeth and gums are as healthy as they possibly can be. 

What is a hygienist? 
A hygienist is a specialist dentist who’s had training around taking care of the teeth and gums. Their job is purely to look after gum disease and checkup for signs of infections and help patients work out what the best treatment plan will be for their specific case. Hygienists work alongside dentists and not instead of, they do not help with structural issues or tooth decay. 

What happens in a hygienist appointment? 
When you go and visit your hygienist they will likely talk you through the reasons that your dentist has referred you to them, for post people this will be linked to early signs of gum disease. They may well talk you through what that means and why it’s important that they tackle it as quickly as possible with your consent.  First, they will do an inspection of the whole mouth, working all the way around top and bottom teeth. But one major difference to when you visit the dentist for a checkup is that they aren’t looking at your teeth, they’re looking at your gums. It’s your gums that then have a scale and polish. A scale and polish are when the hygienist slowly moves around the gum line of all your teeth, blasting and scraping away any hard plaque or tartar that could be causing your teeth to get infected. They have special tools that are able to get deep down in the pockets of the gums and cleans them out properly. After all the cleaning is done, they then polish your teeth with a special wax, this is an amazing treatment as it can really give teeth back a brightness and even a whiter shade without the need to have a whitening treatment. 

Following your amazing deep clean, your hygienist will then discuss why your teeth began to build up plaque and discuss how they think is the best way to fight it in the future. This will likely include reevaluating your oral health routine. 

The basics of good oral health 
Brushing twice daily for at least two minutes, making sure you spend an equal amount of time in each corner. Make sure when brushing you pay attention to the gum line and the back of your teeth as these areas often get neglected. You should also floss everyday between all your teeth. Only use mouthwash as an addition to your routine, not as a replacement to anything. If you can use one with fluoride this is recommended as it helps stimulate the body's natural growth of enamel.