What happens on a visit to the dental hygienist?

dental hygienist

Many people overlook the importance of regular appointments with a dental hygienist. However, these visits can be a great help in maintaining good oral health. If a person’s mouth, teeth and gums are in good condition; that has a positive impact on their health in general.

Some people feel a little nervous or unsure about going to see the hygienist, and wonder about what is involved in an appointment. However, there is nothing to be worried about, as an expert professional explains every part of the appointment to the patient, resolving any concerns along the way.

First steps

During the first visit to the hygienist, patients are usually asked about their current and past health in general. It’s important to tell them about medications, previous health issues and any history of allergic reactions. A person’s general health is often mirrored in their dental health, so this information can be very useful for the hygienist.

Helping people to help themselves

The hygienist can offer tailored advice on how best to protect the oral health. They discuss the current routine of the patient, and suggest ways to improve it – as well as asking about when they last had a professional clean. They also discuss previous visits to the dentist, and any areas of concern that have been identified.

People who feel anxious about visiting the dentist or hygienist should discuss these worries with the hygienist; who will reassure them about any worries. They can also explain how various procedures work and what can be done to make the patient as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

Periodontal health

The primary role of the dental hygienist is to help patients with their periodontal health. This refers to the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. They use a special probe to calculate the distance between the patient’s teeth and gums – and will also assess the area for potential bleeding, bacteria and tartar and any possible recession of the gum.

If it appears that there are concerns in these areas, the hygienist will refer the patient to the dentist for treatment. The expert will then perform a scale and clean. This involves removing staining, tartar and plaque from the teeth. The purpose of all this is to get rid of any bacteria in the mouth so that the patient can achieve the best possible oral health.

Keeping on top of oral health

dental care tools

The hygienist gives specific advice on how to maintain oral health, and may suggest particular products or tools to help with this. They can answer any questions about how best to keep the teeth and gums clean and in good condition; and recommend an oral health routine that is specifically beneficial to the patient as an individual.

It’s a good idea to see the dental hygienist on a regular basis. They can advise on how often the patient should be attending, based on the health of their teeth and gums – this could be between every 3 and 6 months or so.

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