October 12, 2018
October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and since we appreciate our hygienists so much, we thought we’d write a blog to share the importance of the work they do. We’ve also included information about the benefits you get from having good oral health and the important role that hygienists play as part of the dental team. While it’s not uncommon for people to assume that they only clean teeth, in reality, they do so much more. On top of working closely with dentists to monitor and improve their patients’ teeth and gums, they also educate people on how they can maintain a healthy smile at home. Keep reading to learn more about good oral health and how hygienists make a difference!
Why Is a Healthy Mouth So Important?
When people think about their dental health, oftentimes they only wonder if they have cavities or not. It’s true that you need healthy teeth to eat comfortably, but the health of your smile involves more than that.
In many ways, your gums are the foundation of your smile because they support your teeth and keep them in place. Since gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, it’s crucial to make your gums stay healthy.
Not only that, but researchers have found strong evidence that gum disease increases the risk for all of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Some cancers
- Pregnancy complications
Fortunately, improving your gum health is your hygienist’s main area of focus!
How Do Dental Hygienists Help You Have a Healthy Smile?
Dental hygienists are in a unique position to help their patients because, in most cases, they spend more time with them than any other member of the dental team.
That gives them an opportunity to learn all about the challenges their patients face when it comes to their dental health so they can relay that information to the dentist. And, in addition to removing plaque and tartar to improve the gums, they also do all of the following:
- Oral cancer screening – Two pairs of eyes are better than one. While a dentist always screens for oral cancer at every checkup, hygienists also receive training in oral pathology so they can screen each patient as well.
- Oral hygiene instruction – The brushing and flossing habits that patients have are crucial, which is why hygienists take the time to educate their patients on how to be as effective as possible.
- Dietary counseling – For some patients, simply learning about the impact of their daily soda or snacking habits is all that’s necessary to reduce the number of cavities they get.
- Prevention – Hygienists also provide topical fluoride treatments for both kids and adults to strengthen their enamel and prevent tooth decay.
Clearly, your six-month checkups with a dentist in Chesapeake involve more than simply getting your teeth cleaned. They’re also an opportunity to have a team of dental professionals evaluate every aspect of your oral health to make sure you have a healthy smile for life – so don’t forget to schedule them for the whole family!
About the Author
Dr. Craig Estrada is a dentist in Chesapeake who truly appreciates the hygienists in his office that give his patients such excellent care. Girlie, Lexy, Laura, Rebecca, Emilia, and Paulyn are all equally loved and valued by their employers and patients alike! If you have any questions about improving your oral health, he can be reached via his website or at (757) 548-1611.
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