Dental Hygiene

Direct Access and why you should see a dental hygienist

Sometimes having to wait until your next check-up before you can see the hygienist is having to wait too long. Perhaps you have an important occasion coming up, or you have started dating, or you have restorations in your mouth that feel like they are building up a thick layer of plaque. At times like this, it’s nice to be able to see the hygienist for a scale and polish, even if you aren’t due an appointment for quite a while.

Dental Hygienist in Stevenage

Did you know that since 2013, it’s possible to see the hygienist without having to see the dentist first? The General Dental Council changed the rules for hygienists, having decided that patient safety would not be put at risk if they got their teeth cleaned without first having a check-up.

It makes sense to allow people direct access to the hygienist because having plaque professionally removed can only improve your oral health.

Plaque, that layer of sticky bacteria that builds up on your teeth between brushings, is responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. It gives off acids that corrode tooth enamel, creating the holes through which decay and infection can enter.

Acids from plaque also attack the gums, inflaming and irritating them, causing them to become red and to bleed. As gum disease advances, the gums pull away from the teeth and then plaque can get underneath them and start corroding tooth roots, which have no enamel to protect them, and also the bone around the teeth.

Left untreated, both decay and gum disease lead to tooth loss, often via painful infection.

Help with removing plaque and tartar

Even if you carry out your diligent twice-daily brushing and daily flossing to remove plaque and tartar, there are bound to be some nooks and crannies that you can’t get at. Plaque in those places hardens into tartar, a chalky substance that won’t respond to brushing, but still gives off acids, right onto your teeth and gums.

The only way to get rid of this is to see the dental hygienist here at Smilecraft in Stevenage. So, come on in whenever you feel the need for a scale and polish.

War of the worlds inside your mouth

Believe it or not over 700 different types bacteria have been detected in human mouths. Although the number in any one mouth is likely to be less than 72, it’s still a bit of a shock to find out we have a whole microbiotic world co-existing within us. Although most do no harm and are part of our natural biology, others directly attack our mouth, gums and teeth. The health of our teeth and gums is highly important if we want to lead a full, happy life without the fear of missing, decayed or stained teeth that spoil our smile and comprise the food we can eat, its therefore important that we maintain good oral health.

Dental Hygiene in StevenageIn Stevenage, dental hygiene appointments play a vital role in this battle of the mini worlds by keeping in check the little monsters that want to eat your teeth. At your dental hygiene appointment your dentist will remove any plaque build-up and give your teeth a thorough descale and polish.

We are here to support you

At Smilecraft, our dentists can support your ongoing oral health by providing tips and information on how to take care of your teeth and gums. We can help you improve your brushing and flossing technique to ensure cleaning your teeth and gums effectively.

Prevention is better than any cure, by following our advice and visiting us regularly you can ensure any red flags or issues with your teeth and gums can be treated quickly before it develops into a more serious condition. If you have dentures, bridges, crowns or implants you’ll also have specific oral health requirements which our dental hygienists can address and they can also provide you with ongoing support and information.

Setting all the family up for good oral hygiene

Our dentists encourage you to bring in your children for regular check-ups. Studies have shown that having positive dental experiences at a young age sets up a routine that will last a lifetime.

If you’d like to book a check-up and start the war on bacteria, ring our reception and they can book an appointment for you today.

Direct Access and why you should see a dental hygienist in Stevenage

Hygiene visits are an important part of the maintenance of our teeth and gums. While only a dentist can spot the early signs of gum disease and tooth decay, a dental hygienist is perfectly qualified to remove the plaque and tartar build-up that leads to decay and disease.

Here at Smilecraft in Stevenage, patients can make hygiene appointments without a referral from a dentist. This is known as direct access. This service was created in 2013, though even now, five years later, we find many of our patients still don’t know they can book a hygiene appointment whenever they want.

Dental Hygienist in StevenageWhy see a dental hygienist?

There are many benefits from having regular hygiene appointments. At your six-monthly check-up, your dentist will recommend that you also have a scale and polish – which means removing plaque and tartar build-up. This is because no matter how diligently we brush, floss and mouth wash, unseen plaque builds up, hardening into tartar over time, which can then lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Only dental equipment can remove this build up, so it is vital to have this preventive work done regularly.

Hygienists can also advise on brushing techniques and the use of interdental brushes, so you can have the most effective oral healthcare routine possible.

They can also offer advice on nutrition for oral health, ways to combat bad breath and sensitive teeth and information on how to stop smoking.

And if you have a dental structure such as a dental implant, bridge, denture or crown, our hygienist can give you special tips on how to keep it, and the surrounding teeth, clean and healthy.

Keep your smile shining

So, as well as coming in for a hygiene appointment when recommended by your dentist, you can book in for a scale and polish without a referral, great for shining up your pearly whites before a special occasion, or simply keeping them in tip top condition.

Particular patient groups such as those with diabetes or heart disease and pregnant women may need to see a hygienist more often than every six months. Check in with your dentist for more information.

How to maintain a good dental hygiene

Proper dental care is a vital part of keeping your teeth healthy. In addition to regular brushing and flossing at home, it is very important to visit your dentist regularly to get check-ups and professional cleanings. Your dentist will also examine your teeth thoroughly and look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease is the most common oral hygiene-related condition, affecting 75% of all adults in the UK to some degree or another.

Dental Hygiene in StevenageAt Smilecraft, we believe that regular dental check-ups and cleanings can make all the difference to smiling for a lifetime. For this reason, we provide a variety of services to prevent dental diseases from counselling to scaling and polishing. Our dentists are here to help you take good care of your teeth and gums.

Visiting the dental hygienist

Visiting the dentist and the dental hygienist regularly is the best way of maintaining good oral health. The main role of our dental hygienists is to prevent any serious problems from occurring. For this reason, they will scale and polish your teeth and also show you the best way to remove plaque at home.

During a scale and polish procedure, your hygienist will remove plaque from your teeth and beneath your gum line. Some patients may require a deeper scaling, which includes cleaning the roots of their teeth. Each patient’s mouth is unique and your dentist will tailor a treatment plan to suit your personal needs.

Your dental hygienist will also provide information on how diet and nutrition affects your mouth. For instance, you will be advised to stay away from sugary and acidic foods, in order to help prevent dental decay and erosion. Your dental hygienist will also show you the best techniques to brush and floss your teeth at home.

Patients with greater risk of decay can benefit from fluoride treatments. Other gels and solutions can also be placed on the teeth and gums to help with sensitivity and bacteria under the gum. Finally, your dental hygienist will advise you on the negative effects of smoking on your oral health and show you the best ways to quit smoking.