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- Used for: stained teeth, maintaining dental health, preventative dentistry
- Treatment length: approximately 30 minutes
- Cost: from £40 – £100 per visit
This section answers
Preventative dentistry is the best way to maintain good oral teeth. This involves upkeeping good oral health habits and avoiding any dental health problems before they occur. As well as brushing your teeth thoroughly and consistently and regularly visiting a dentist for checkups, regular visits to the dental hygienist should be a part of your oral health program.
Some of the symptoms of improper dental hygiene include bleeding or painful gums, persistent bad breath, yellow or brown deposits on teeth and loose teeth. If you are spot any of these symptoms, it is probably time to go and see a dentist, however this can be avoided with regular visits to your dental hygienist.
The consequences of poor dental hygiene include:
- Tooth decay and dental cavities – if you do not keep your keep clean, plaque will form on the surface of your teeth. This will erode your tooth enamel over time and result in cavities in your teeth. Cavities will then require a visit to the dentist for a filling.
- Tartar – a build up of plaque around your teeth results in a hard yellow mineral deposit called tartar or calculus. This leads to further plaque growth which can lead to cavities and gum disease.
- Gum disease – poor oral health can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis. These forms of gum disease can lead to inflammation of the gums, pain and bleeding, receding gums and loss of teeth.
What does a visit to the dental hygienist involve?
During a typical visit to a dental hygienist they should fully clean your teeth and gums and advise you on your daily dental hygiene routine.
- Dental Hygiene Examination – the first thing your hygienist will do is examine your mouth to look for any plaque build ups or inflammation in your gums.
- Scaling & Polishing – this is the term used to describe cleaning your teeth as the process involves removing any scale or tartar that has built up on your teeth and then cleaning and polishing your teeth so as the look good and are healthy. The scaling can be done with ultrasonic equipment which uses small vibrations to knock larger pieces of tartar off your teeth. Once the larger pieces have been knocked off the hygienist will then use finer hand tools to remove smaller pieces and smoothen the tooth surfaces. Polishing is done with a slow speed hand piece with a soft rubber cup that spins on the end and a paste that is applied to the teeth.
- Daily dental hygiene advice – your hygienist will discuss your daily hygiene routine to make sure you are following the prescribed steps to help you maintain good oral health.