12 reasons to visit the dental hygienist

1. To stop bleeding gums – Bleeding gums or seeing blood when you spit after brushing is a sign of gum inflammation. This can be an early sign of gum disease. If caught early by your hygienist, it is usually totally reversible.

2. To get expert advice – Another reason dentists refer you to a hygienist for your teeth cleaning is because dental hygienists do more than just clean teeth. They also offer advice on how you can best achieve and maintain good oral health for a lifetime.

3. To prevent gum disease – Gum disease (periodontitis) causes bleeding gums, bad breath and loose teeth. Gum disease can be treated, stopped and even reversed if caught in its early stages. Your hygienist will not only treat gum disease they will help you prevent it yourself at home with a better oral hygiene regime.

4. To prevent bad breath – Bad breath or halitosis is usually caused by a dental problem. Fear of halitosis is a very common reason for people seeking dental care. The odour can be released by bacteria from under the gum line, where only a dental hygienist can clean.

5. To have a whiter smile – External stains that build on your teeth cannot be removed by brushing alone. These stains are often the result of tea, coffee, tobacco, red wine or other dietary factors. Your hygienist has many ways of removing these stains to restore your teeth to their natural whiteness.

6. To reduce the risk of other diseases.
Gum disease and poor oral hygiene have associations with heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia to name a few.

7. To prevent oral cancer – When you have a dental hygiene appointment, your hygienist is also screening you for oral cancer. Your hygienist will give you advice on risk factors for oral cancer and how to reduce them.

8. To get specialised treatment – Dental hygienists are highly-educated professionals who have specialised education and training in preventing and treating gum disease. In fact, most dentists delegate this duty to a dental hygienist anyway, allowing the dentists to concentrate on their area of expertise with other procedures such as fillings, crowns etc.

9. To improve self-esteem and confidence – If your mouth feels clean, it makes you feel good. The feeling of fresher breath makes us more comfortable talking with people. Knowing that healthy gums can improve your general health can also make you feel good about yourself.

10. To detect other dental problems – It may be that you are not seeing a dentist regularly, your hygienist may notice other problems you may be unaware of such as defective fillings or loose crowns.

11. To keep your teeth – Gum disease is the number one cause for an adult patient losing a tooth. When teeth become extremely loose in the later stages of gum disease, they can become painful or acutely infected. Often this leaves no option but to remove the tooth. Sometimes teeth can become so loose, they fall out on their own. It is the hygienist’s number one mission to prevent this from happening, by treating and preventing gum disease.

12. To clean those hard to reach areas – Some people have excellent oral hygiene. Whilst these people may not need to see a dental hygienist as often, it is still extremely important to maintain their oral health. It doesn’t matter how much and how well you brush and floss, or how much money you have spent on the latest electric toothbrush, there will still be parts of your mouth that you won’t be able to clean as effectively as a hygienist. A hygienist has specially-designed instruments and the training to know exactly where the hidden tartar and plaque will be.

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