At Advent Dental Practice we see care of the gums and soft tissues of the mouth as equally important to the teeth. You cannot build castles on poor foundations.
The two main causes of tooth loss are tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. With good dental hygiene and regular professional teeth cleanings from a hygienist, these types of conditions can often be prevented to help ensure that your gums are in good health which is essential for restorative dental treatments.
Gum disease is preventable and can be controlled, but there is no cure. Consequently, constant maintenance of the gums of a patient that has ever suffered from gum disease is essential.
Our skilled team of dental hygienists in Chelmsford are able to provide routine and deep cleaning services at the prescription of your dentist. When you attend for a check-up, your dentist will be able to advise as to whether you would benefit from a hygiene appointment and how frequently you should attend. Please remember that seeing one of our Chelmsford hygienists is not a substitute for a regular dental check-up.
Do I Really Need to See a Dental Hygienist?
Hygienist treatment can sometimes be misunderstood by patients who view them as an ‘unnecessary extra’ or additional money they’d rather not spend. However, these simple and inexpensive appointments can be the vital difference between having healthy gums and teeth and having to undergo preventable and costly treatments in the future. We always prefer prevention and maintenance to cure, with gum health being proactive is crucial.
What will happen at my appointment?
Your hygienist will be working under prescription from your dentist if you have had an examination first, so your dentist will be able to give you a more accurate description of your treatment. If you just want a simple scale and polish and have seen a dentist in the last year, then you can book with the hygienist directly without prescription. If you think you have gum disease or you are not sure, always book with the dentist first.
Usually you will have some indexing, which is measurements of the health of your gums, this is using a small metal probe and is not painful. These are for the benefit of the dental team and used as monitoring tool. Sometimes, they will take x-rays of your teeth to assess the bone that holds your teeth in place.
Your cleaning will take place using one of two main methods:
- the Cavitron – a machine that uses ultrasonic sound waves to vibrate debris from your teeth whilst spraying water to wash away debris.
- Handscaling – this is scraping with handheld instruments without using water.
Regular patients usually have a preference and all of our hygiene team will be happy to accommodate your wishes. Please feel free to request trying both methods. You can also request to have your treatment with or without local anaesthetic, it really is your choice.
Benefits of Dental Hygienist Appointments
Poor oral hygiene has been linked to several serious illnesses with associated medical and dental issues including – bone loss, cardiovascular disease, strokes and cancers. Professional dental cleanings can have a positive impact on your oral and general health and help to identify potential problems early so they can be treated and dealt with effectively.
Here are seven reasons how you can benefit from regular visits to a dental hygienist;
Gum Health – Gum disease can affect people of all ages with NHS figures suggesting that over 50% of 35-year-olds suffer from gum issues of varying forms. The early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis is reversible however the later form of gum disease is not. Your dental hygienist can help to ensure that your gums remain in optimum health and get a head start on any potential issues before they get a chance to take hold.
Bad Breath – The type of bacteria that is responsible for bad breath or halitosis is often found hiding in areas under the gum line which are easily missed by conventional brushing, even by the most diligent patients. However, a hygienist will be able to use the professional dental tools at their disposal to help remove these well-hidden breath bacteria for good.
A Brighter, Wider Smile – Nobody should feel self-conscious about their smile and a hygienist clean can help to remove stains, plaque, discolouration and tartar build up to create a brighter smile that you will want to show off.
Smart Investment – There are few better investments in your health than spending on hygiene appointments and appropriate oral health products to avoid problems further down the line. Hygienists are able to spot the very early signs of potential dental issues and help stop them in their tracks which can save you painful and expensive treatments at a later date.
Signs of Poor Oral Hygiene
It can be fear, embarrassment or even a phobia of the dentist that prevent patients from attending regular check-ups, but when the signs and symptoms of poor oral hygiene begin to show it is important to seek help to resolve the issue and prevent an undesirable outcome.
Some of the signs of poor oral hygiene can include;
- Bad breath
- Swollen and sore gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing and eating
- Visible build-up of plaque and tartar on the mouth
- Stained teeth
- Stained and furry tongue
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Tooth decay
- Infections and dental abscesses
By attending regular visits with one of our expert dental hygienists we can help to provide oral hygiene advice and professional cleaning to avoid these types of symptoms from developing.
How to Brush Your Teeth Properly
As your dentist, we can’t be there every day to brush your teeth for you and ensure you are taking care of your oral health as you should be – that part is down to you. When you are brushing your teeth it is important to remember that there are five surfaces to every tooth;
– Outer surfaces
– Inner surfaces
– Chewing surfaces
– 2x interdental surfaces
Make sure that you are thorough and that you clean all of these surfaces every time you brush.
We recommend an electric or manual toothbrush combined with a fluoride toothpaste as well as interdental cleaning products such as – interdental brushes, floss, water flossers or floss sticks. When used consistently with the correct technique, these will help you to maintain good oral hygiene and prevent unwanted dental issues.
Oral Hygiene Advice
If you are keen to improve your current oral health and create a more efficient dental hygiene routine at home, then take a look at some useful videos we have found to properly illustrate how you can make the most of your time spent cleaning your teeth.
Cleaning with a manual toothbrush
Cleaning with an electric toothbrush
General advice for cleaning
How to treat bleeding gums at home