As the nights are drawing in, and the darkness of winter is looming ahead of us, it can be easy to forget the little things such as our oral health, as our minds are elsewhere. However, doing so can have a seriously adverse impact on our dental wellbeing, and cause a number of future problems. As we adjust to living through the ‘new normal’ people are becoming increasingly conscious of their own breath – as they are spending prolonged periods wearing face coverings. For the majority of people this is nothing that a mint can’t solve, but for some – who have pockets of plaque or food particles between their teeth – this may not prove possible. Anyone who feels that their bad breath is a sign their teeth need professional cleaning, ought to speak to a trusted hygienist Richmond, and let them get everything in order and rid you of any bad ‘mask breath’ in a timely, sterilised and safe manner.
What does a hygienist actually do?
Whilst most people are familiar with what a cosmetic dentist does, few people are actually aware of the crucial role that a dental hygienist plays within a practice. Fundamentally, it is the job of the dental hygienist to keep each patient’s teeth and gums up to a healthy standard. Doing so involves examining the patient’s existing oral condition, and identifying whether or not there are any signs that their gums are suffering from any common infections like periodontal disease (or ‘gum disease’) which is the leading most preventable cause of tooth loss in adults across the UK. If any typical signs of periodontal disease are noted, such as inflamed gums, or redness, then the hygienist will make sure that you’re getting the correct course of care to best treat the infection swiftly – before it can develop into something more serious. Another principle duty of a dental hygienist is to carry through a professional clean of the patient’s gums and tooth enamel. This is done through a process called a ‘scale and polish’ and leaves lasting, positive results on the visible appearance of a patient’s teeth in such a way that it is often confused with more cosmetic treatment such as dental whitening.
What is a ‘scale and polish?’
As mentioned, a scale and polish procedure is a cleaning service which is carried out by most dental hygienists. The primary aim of the two stage process is to remove any excesses of tartar, plaque or harmful bacteria from between the patient’s teeth or on the surface of their enamel. By doing so, the risk of an infection, such as periodontal disease, is greatly lessened as the patient’s teeth are ultimately cleaned until they are as healthy as they can be. The first stage of a ‘scale and polish’ procedure involves the use of an ultrasound scraper to remove any and all surface plaque, stains and tartar from all over the patient’s mouth – including the small gap and spaces between teeth which are commonly missed through traditional brushing and flossing. After this, a specialised polishing tool is used to clean each tooth and remove any residual bacteria and plaque – leaving the patients with a visibly cleaner, healthier appearing smile.