Why dental hygienists matter

Dental hygiene in Stevenage may not seem like it but it is probably the most effective aspect of dentistry we have when it comes to saving teeth!

Dental hygienists may not be associated with much more and scale and polish. But again that is to do a disservice to the scale and polish. The short answer is that prevention is far better than cure. Cavities, gum disease and all of the treatments that are associated with it all start with a biofilm. A biofilm is an accumulation of bacteria; once they form, they cling to each other but also to the enamel. This collection of microbes, given enough time, form the thick milky layer that we refer to as plaque. But there’s not a lot that can be done about the tiny biofilms that form during the day, but as they become thicker and as noticeable as plaque, it is best to disrupt them with regular bruising.

Given enough time, they will calcify into tartar; this mineralized form of plaque is an excellent jumping off point for bacteria who will go on to form cavities in the enamel or attack local gum tissue. Tartar acts as a secure location beyond the reach of the immune system where the bacteria can rally in great numbers.

Once tartar has formed, there is no practical method of removing it at home. Some lightening toothpastes and bleaching gels have claimed to remove tartar, but what they actually do is stain it white making it less noticeable.

Scale and polish

The scale and polish is the most effective method of removing tartar and therefore it prevents the conditions stemming from its build up. This dental hygiene in Stevenage is carried out using a sonic scraper to dislodge areas of larger tartar build-up; for more precise areas, a dental drill can be used. This would be particularly helpful in between teeth or at the gum line.

The scale and polish is completed with a set of rotary brushes and polishing tools, leaving a smooth surface to the enamel which bacteria find difficult to adhere to, slowing down the time it takes for biofilms to develop on a tooth surface.This reduces the need for future scale and polishes assuming regular brushing continues.

Oral hygiene education

With younger patients, prevention is far more about education than any form of intervention; their temporary teeth don’t require scale and polishing. Monitoring the establishment of adult teeth and recording dental alignment is far more important, as well as establishing the habits that will prevent dental treatment in the future. This includes the fundamentals of brushing technique and the effects of acid erosion caused by soda consumption. We also encourage younger patients to report any toothaches they have to their parents as and when required.

If you have any questions about dental hygiene in Stevenage, please feel free to get in contact with our clinic. We would be happy to hear from you. If you leave your query with a contact number we will be happy to get back to you if you call outside of our operating hours.