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You might know dental hygienists as the friendly people who clean your teeth, but did you know that they do so much more? That’s right! In addition to keeping your teeth pearly white and healthy, they are also responsible for monitoring your bone levels, recording medical history, analyzing gum health, taking and developing radiographs and much more! The month of April is Oral Health Month and an important part of this celebration is National Dental Hygienists Week, celebrated annually April 4-10th. As your Mississauga family dentist, we would love to take this time to recognize and appreciate all dental hygienists and their roles as a part of the dental team.
Dental hygienists play an important role in a patient’s health and well-being. From conducting routine exams, taking x-rays, removing plaque and calculus deposits from patients’ teeth, and offering sound advice on preventative dental care, your dental hygienists will work with you to obtain your optimal oral health. Registered dental hygienists have extensive training in proper dental techniques, skills and concepts. As your Mississauga family dentist, we at Credit River Dental Centre have outlined 5 reasons why you should regularly see a dental hygienist:
1) Keep Healthy Gums
Gum disease is caused by plaque, which is filled with bacteria – some of it good and some of it bad. If plaque is left behind, after a period of time it will start to irritate the gums and cause inflammation. Toxins produced by the bacteria in the plaque start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. As it worsens, the pockets deepen, and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Teeth are no longer anchored in place and become loose, resulting in tooth loss. A hygienist will certainly have the ability to do an analysis of your gum health as well as offer treatment and advice.
2) Get Rid of Bad Breath
The most common cause of bad breath, also known as halitosis, is poor oral hygiene. As various food and drinks are consumed throughout the day, they often become trapped between our teeth and stuck in small folds of the tongue and areas of the mouth. If this buildup isn’t removed daily, the bacteria in your mouth help it thrive, resulting in bad breath. Luckily, adopting a good oral hygiene routine can minimize bad breath. Consistently brushing twice a day, cleaning in-between the teeth and using a tongue scraper can help. Staying hydrated and using sugar-free gum and mints are a great way to stay fresh throughout the day, along with regular visits to your hygienist who can clean your teeth and give you a tailored oral hygiene routine.
3) A Whiter Smile
Many daily foods and drinks, as well as tobacco, will stain your teeth over time. Luckily these stains are usually on the surface of your teeth and can be removed with professional scaling and polishing. Brushing alone just won’t cut it and some whitening toothpastes can actually cause damage to your teeth, leaving them more prone to staining than before. If you’re looking for more than just polished white teeth your dental hygienist can certainly perform whitening procedures if you’re a candidate, click here to learn more about whitening.
4) Early Detection
Regular, routine dental hygiene appointments give you and your dentist additional opportunities to monitor and maintain your teeth and gums. As well as keeping your teeth sparkly clean, your hygienist will be on the lookout for early signs of oral cancer, decay, fractures, and loose fillings. Since prevention is worth a pound of cure we routinely perform comprehensive dental exams which ensures early detection. To learn more about comprehensive dental exams and what they entail, click here.
5) Great dental hygiene gives you confidence
A healthy, clean mouth and a great smile does wonders for your confidence! Whether you’re talking to people or laughing with them, having a clean healthy mouth is a huge plus!
Think of your dental hygienist as your personal oral hygiene coach, who will show you which products to use and how to use them in order to keep your mouth healthy. Hygienists can also give you diet advice to help protect your teeth from decay, erosion and oral manifestations of various deficiencies, as well as flag anything of concern to a dentist through routine visits.
Routine visits can ensure that if a problem arises, it is dealt with in the early stages. Remember, both gum disease and dental decay are entirely preventable and often painless or symptomless in their earlier stages. Although everybody’s recall is different, aim to visit at least 2-3 times a year as a minimum. Ready to see your hygienist? We invite you to call Credit River Dental Centre your Mississauga family dentist to schedule an appointment at (905) 278-4297.