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Prevention, as they say, is better than cure, and this is especially so in the case or oral health care. Making sure that a good oral health regime is followed will go a long way to preventing dental problems such as decay and gum disease from arising in the first place.
The Role of the Dental Hygienist
The role of a dental hygienist is, to a large degree, educational. They are trained to be able to advise patients on the best way to care for their teeth and gums, tailoring this advice to the individual patient. This is especially important for younger patients as it will set them upon a positive path of dental healthcare for years to come.
Hygienists may also perform minor procedures on a patient’s teeth. The most common of these procedures is a ‘scale and polish’. This procedure is done when there is a build up of plaque on the patient’s teeth that is too advanced simply to be removed by more effective cleaning. The procedure is not painful and only takes a short time. By removing this plaque however, the chances of more significant gum disease are greatly reduced.
Fissure sealants may also be applied by the hygienist if appropriate.
In some cases they may also advise you about your lifestyle if it is contributing to problems with your teeth. This may be advice on where to go for help in stopping smoking or drinking if these are problems for example.
X-rays may also be taken by a hygienist from time to time.