Let’s say you brush and floss your teeth diligently every day, rinse with mouthwash and avoid anything too hard or sugary that could damage your teeth. When it comes to keeping your teeth, gums, bone beneath your gum line and your breath fresh and healthy, pat yourself on the back, because you’re doing a great job!
But does that mean you can skip your next trip to the dentist? Whether you’re time poor or trying to save some pennies, it can be tempting to wait until you notice a problem to book your next check-up.
At TLC Dental, we’re often asked ‘how often should I see a dental hygienist’ and while the exact frequency should depend on your individual oral health needs, we recommend booking an appointment with a dental hygienist every six months. While we’re sure you’re a whizz with your toothbrush, it’s important to leave the cleaning in the hands of the professionals at least twice a year.
First of all – if you’re staying diligent with your brushing, flossing and general dentistry care twice a day, keep it up! This will lay down the groundwork for healthy teeth and gums and will help fend off plaque, cavities and any other nasties.
However, plaque still has a bad habit of sticking around, no matter how hard you try to brush it out. Lingering plaque hardens into tartar which can bring on cavities and gum disease, which when left untreated can lead to tooth loss. Popping in to see a dental hygienist at least every 6 months will give your hygienist a safe amount of time to spot any emerging oral health issues and nip them in the bud before they develop further.
But what does a dental hygienist do?
Think of your dental hygienist like a registered nurse – fully qualified, registered and skilled, dental hygienists fill a vital role in your dental team, working to keep your teeth clean, shiny and healthy. Preventative care is the name of the dental hygienist game, and your hygienist will cover a range of services to help keep oral diseases at bay, tackling everything from the removal of calculus, to taking X-rays and teaching you best-practice cleaning techniques.
What can I expect in my appointment?
With such a hands-on role, expect to see a lot of your dental hygienist in your appointment.
Working closely with your dentist, they will first conduct a thorough inspection of your teeth, looking to spot any obvious issues such as swollen, inflamed or bleeding gums. Your gum lines will be closely examined too to identify some of the early signs of periodontal disease. Next, your dental hygienist will weigh up your brushing and flossing skills, helping you to pin down the areas that need a little more care.
Armed with a mirror, scaler and polisher, it’ll then be time for a deep clean – and this is where the magic happens! , a deep clean with your dental hygienist is the only way to help wipe out plaque, calculus and other lingering hard to reach contaminants you would never be able to reach on your own.
Would I ever need to go more than twice a year?
Like anything health-related, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to dental care. If you’re blessed with uncrowded, unrestored pearly whites with healthy gums, it’s safe to say that you won’t need to book in to see your dental hygienist too often. But should your hygienist spot any signs of gum disease, you may need to visit them every three months to help ward off plaque, calculus or any other natural enemies of your teeth.
Having crowns, fillings or a genetic predisposition to developing gum disease can also lead to your hygienist recommending you make your visits a little more frequent. As smoking, pregnancy and orthodontic treatment can also put you at risk of damaging your teeth, it’s always best to chat to your dental hygienist about how often you need a deep clean.
At TLC Dental, we’re proud of our highly skilled team of dental hygienists, who provide a warm and welcoming service to people of all ages at our five south-of-the-river locations. Taking a preventative approach to dental cleaning, expect to leave our clinic bursting with knowledge about the best dental health practices that can be carried out at home. Your mouth will be left in pristine condition, just make sure it stays that way!
How long has it been since your teeth have had a deep clean? Give us a call and book a check-up and a routine clean with one of our hygienists today!