Dental hygiene in Lansdale is more than just about brushing and flossing in between visits. It’s about taking the time to visit the dental office and get a thorough cleaning from a professional dental hygienist. While you may tend to think of seeing the dentist when you schedule appointments, you’re far more likely to meet exclusively with a dental hygienist if you’re only attending for a cleaning.
That’s why, for National Dental Hygiene Month, we’ll be showing our appreciation for hygienists and the hard work they do to keep your mouth clean.
What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?
Dental hygienists spend a majority of their time removing plaque, tartar and polishing the teeth afterwards. However, they also spend time examining the gums and looking for early signs of gingivitis. If you are overdue for X-rays, they’ll also perform these prior to your cleaning and hand them off to the dentist for further examination. This is assuming you have a dental exam scheduled for the same day as your cleaning.
Additionally, hygienists may perform supplemental screenings, including one for oral cancer. They’ll go over your oral health history, ask if any changes have occurred since your last visit, and apply materials that are helpful for your teeth. This may include dental sealants or fluoride varnishes, but won’t occur until after the cleaning has been completed.
Can They Answer My Questions?
More often than not, dental hygienists are perfectly qualified to answer common questions you may have. Whether it’s about the overall state of your oral health or your at-home habits, hygienists answer questions all the time.
For example, they can provide the best techniques for practicing care at home. They can recommend products that they not only think are sufficient, but ideal for your unique case. Many people need toothpaste specifically for sensitive teeth. Others have a higher risk of tartar buildup and therefore need tartar control toothpaste to manage it.
You also may want to ask if your general doctor should know about your oral health. If a patient is pregnant, they’re more prone to gum disease and having a weaker immune system overall, so general doctors need to be updated on what a dental hygienist finds during an exam.
What Does Good At-Home Care Look Like?
Finally, dental hygienists will always help you confirm if your current at-home care is working to prevent dental disease. Your oral care should always involve:
- Brushing for at least two minutes at a time
- Flossing daily
- Brushing all the surfaces of teeth
- Brushing the tongue
Hygienists may also recommend mouthwash if you are more susceptible to plaque buildup. This is often the case for those wearing braces or with a history of enamel erosion.
Got a question that a dental hygienist could answer? Schedule an appointment today!
About the Author
Dr. Michelle Ardzinski is a dentist in Lansdale who earned her dental degree from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She only hires the most knowledgeable and caring hygienists at her practice. To meet her team yourself or schedule an appointment, you can contact her through her website.