Did you know that a dental hygiene appointment is much more than plaque removal and a polish? In fact, a visit to your dental hygienist can play a large role in not just your dental health, but your overall health as well.
We’ve found that many patients either cancel or fail to even make an appointment with their dental hygienist because they feel their teeth are fine because they’re not currently experiencing pain, discomfort, or a noticing a large amount of plaque or tartar buildup.
But unless you’re a dental hygienist or dentist, there’s no way you can perform all of the diagnostic, preventative and educational services that go into a continuing care dental hygiene appointment.
Here’s a list of some of the things your dental hygienist and dentist are working on at your appointment.
Identify Oral Health Problems: These include updating your medical history, noting any conditions that may have an impact on your oral health. Depending on your medical and family history, we may perform an oral cancer screening. We’ll also check for any signs of periodontal disease, and discuss any issues you may be experiencing like teeth grinding, headaches or TMJ and check your teeth to make sure there are no cavities or tooth decay.
Prevent Future Dental Health Problems: This includes removal of plaque and/or tartar, as well as fluoride application, polishing teeth, stain removal, sealants (for children) and the cleaning or adjusting of dentures. Without these simple preventative measures, issues that are easily avoidable may worsen because of lack of care.
Provide Valuable Health Education Insights: The educational component of our care includes answering any questions a patient may have, and also covers topics like how to brush properly, nutritional information that may affect oral health and more.
Help Detect Serious Health Issues: Did you know that a significant number of health issues have an oral component? Although a visit to your dental hygienist and dentist won’t replace a medical examination, we may be able to identify changes in a patient’s dental health that indicates a more serious health problem.
A few examples include diabetes, heart or kidney disease, oral cancer and anxiety or stress. The screenings may also point to risk factors for thyroid problems, asthma, high blood pressure, sleep disorders and digestive disorders, to name a few.
If it’s time for your next visit with our dental hygienist – don’t hesitate – call our office today to schedule an appointment.