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.
Why 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.