The Hygenist Prevention Service
Dental hygienists are specially trained to work with the dentist in giving preventive care to patients. They play an important role in dental health and are mainly concerned with gum health, showing people correct home care and carrying out preventive techniques to the teeth and gums.
The hygienist’s main role is to professionally clean a patient’s teeth. This is usually called a ‘scale and polish’. However, perhaps their most important role is showing the patient the best way to keep their teeth free of plaque and monitoring their success in doing so.
Regular professional cleaning, combined with good home care will help keep your mouth healthy. A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you fresh breath. Recent Research has also found associations between increased plaque within the mouth and conditions such as : heart disease, diabetes, dementia, rheumatoid athritis and premature birth.
Plaque and Calculus
Plaque is an invisible film of bacteria which forms constantly on the teeth and gums. When you eat or drink something, the plaque turns the sugar into acid which causes tooth decay unless removed. Plaque will also cause gum inflammation if it is not regularly and thoroughly removed.
The hard tartar or calculus which builds up on the teeth also started off as plaque.
Food and drinks containing sugar cause decay. Having sweet things less often will help a lot. Foods such as cheese, fruit, nuts and vegetables make good substitutes.
Fluoride helps teeth resist decay so it is important to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. If your dentist or hygienist thinks added fluoride would be useful, they may recommend a fluoride gel. They may also suggest fluoride rinses, tablets or drops as an extra help against decay for use at home. Only use these if you have been advised to and follow their instructions carefully.