Visiting a dental hygienist is a great way to ensure your oral health remains in top shape. But what is a dental hygienist, and what should you expect during your visit? Great Alpine Dental is here to help by providing an overview of the entire process, from before your appointment right through to when you get home.
Before Your Appointment
Before you even arrive for your appointment, there are a few things you should do to prepare. First, make sure you schedule an appointment far enough in advance that you have time to review any paperwork or forms. Also, note anything specific you would like the dentist or hygienist to address during your appointment, such as a filling, sensitivity, or teeth whitening. It’s good practice to let them know ahead of time so they can ensure they have the right equipment. Finally, brushing and flossing thoroughly before coming in for an exam or cleaning is always a good idea.
During Your Appointment
Once you arrive at the office, the hygienist will begin by completing several tasks, including cleaning, x-rays, and an exam. During each step, they will discuss any areas of concern and provide tips on maintaining good oral hygiene between visits. A dental hygienist is a trained professional who cleans teeth and gums, helping prevent cavities and tooth decay. They can also provide additional treatments such as fluoride, sealants, root planing, and periodontal care. A dental hygienist is an essential part of your overall dental care routine. However, dental hygienists do not diagnose or treat dental conditions, as this is the responsibility of a dentist.
Hygienists use special tools to remove plaque from your teeth and gums, using a technique called scaling. They may also apply fluoride or polishing agents if necessary. Cleaning your teeth is an integral part of keeping your mouth healthy and helping to prevent tartar buildup. Although it can be uncomfortable, the hygienist will take the necessary steps to minimise pain or discomfort.
In some cases, a dental x-ray may be necessary to understand what’s happening within the mouth and jawbone structure. X-rays allow our team to see below the surface of each tooth and detect potential problems that may not be visible during a visual examination. Depending on how long it’s been since your last visit, we may recommend taking additional x-rays at this time so that we can get an accurate picture of your current dental health. For example, we may need to check on wisdom teeth or any other areas that may be difficult to see without the help of x-rays. X-rays can harm a developing fetus so be sure to let your hygienist know if you might be pregnant.
The hygienist will examine your teeth and gums to identify any potential issues or areas of concern. This involves inspecting each tooth and surrounding structures, such as gums and jawbone, for signs of damage or decay. Our team may also take measurements, such as checking bite alignment or measuring pocket depths around each tooth which can help detect problems with periodontal (gum) health early on before permanent damage occurs.
How to Care for Your Oral Health between Appointments?
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene between visits is key. This means brushing twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste (including flossing once daily) and using mouthwash regularly to reduce bacteria buildup between teeth and gums. Additionally, avoiding sugary foods and drinks can help protect against tooth decay, while limiting acidic items such as soft drinks or citrus fruits can help reduce enamel erosion over time. Finally, attending regular checkups with a dentist at least every six months is recommended to prevent future issues from developing.
After Your Appointment
The final step is for the hygienist to answer any remaining questions or concerns that you may have regarding your oral health or treatment recommendations. They will also advise how best to care for your teeth between appointments so that you can maintain optimal dental health in the future.
Visiting a dental hygienist can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect beforehand but understanding how appointments typically run makes it much easier. At Great Alpine Dental, our experienced team of professionals strive to make sure every patient has a positive experience no matter why they are visiting us, whether it’s just for their regular checkup or more serious treatment needs. Keeping up with proper oral hygiene habits between visits is key, but if anything does arise, don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly staff, who are here to help answer all questions related to your dentistry needs.
Book an appointment today.