dentist bedale, dentists in bedale, cosmetic dentist bedale

dentist bedale, dentists in bedale, cosmetic dentist bedale

Dental Hygienist

What is a Hygienist?
Gum disease
Gingivitis
Periodontitis
Signs and Symptons
What does a Hygienist do?
Advice and education
Dietary advice for adults and children
How is sugar harmful?
What foods cause decay?
Should I brush my teeth after every meal?
Application of fluoride varnishes and gels
Instruction in the care of appliances
How to get the most benefit from seeing the Hygienist

What is a Hygienist?

A hygienist is specially trained to work alongside dentists to help patients care for their teeth and gums. Their role is a combination of clinician; treating and preventing periodontal disease; and educating, teaching and motivating patients to care for their own teeth whilst also helping patient’s to establish a good homecare routine. 

Initially patients must be referred by their dentist for specific care all of which require the hygienist to carry out an initial assessment to ascertain the full extent of what is required.   This may be the treatment of active gum disease, or preventative treatments such as fluoride application and fissure sealants. There will always be included an aspect of education and advice regarding general oral health and where necessary specific care of appliances such as dentures, bridges, implants or orthodontic devices.

Gum disease

Gum disease is the swelling, inflammation, soreness and possible infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. It is usually painless and you may not even know that you have it. It is also difficult to predict as it can have a slow or rapid onset. There are two main types of gum disease:

Gingivitis – Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. The gums around the teeth become very red (instead of pink), swollen and inflamed. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque; plaque is the sticky, soft colourless film of bacteria that forms over the teeth, it contains toxins which are harmful to the gums and if it is not thoroughly removed daily with either brushing or flossing it will lead to aggravation and inflammation of the soft tissues.
At this point, scrupulous oral hygiene, consisting of vigilant brushing, flossing and professional cleaning will reverse the problem and get you back on track to healthy gums. If you are pre-disposed to periodontal disease because it runs in your family or if you have diabetes, don’t give up the fight to keep your teeth.  Whilst good oral hygiene, a healthy lifestyle and regular professional care may not prevent periodontal disease, they can help to keep it under control.

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Periodontitis – Prolonged gingivitis can turn into periodontitis (periodontal disease). Gingivitis progresses and causes damage to the tissues and bone surrounding and supporting the teeth causing the teeth to become loose. At this stage good dental hygiene alone cannot stop it but it can stabilize it. Periodontitis must be treated by your dentist and hygienist in order to slow down the progression of the disease and help prevent tooth loss.  In very advanced cases surgical intervention may be deemed necessary.
Unfortunately this problem reaches far beyond the discomfort and harm to nutrition, self-image and lifestyle caused by losing one’s teeth.  Recent scientific research has uncovered an apparent relationship between periodontal disease and other serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, more recently Alzheimer’s and possibly, pre-term low-birth weight childbirth.

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Signs and Symptons

The symptoms of periodontal disease can often be subtle but the disease is not without warning signs and these include:

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Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth

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Red, swollen or tender gums

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Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

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Receding gums (“long in the tooth”)

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Formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums

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Loose or shifting teeth

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Changes in the way that your teeth fit together when you bite

These symptoms may point to some form of periodontal disease, which is usually classified as gingivitis or periodontitis, depending on its severity.

Periodontitis

What does a Hygienist do?

Clinical tasks

The hygienist’s prime role is to prevent and treat periodontal disease. Each patient is treated according to the progress of their individual periodontal disease to ensure it remains stable. 
At the initial visit the hygienist will carry out a full examination to assess your periodontal health status, by measuring the amount of inflammation and plaque there is in your mouth.  Depending on your periodontal condition she may have to measure the depth of any “pockets” around your teeth with a fine probe.
The hygienist will then carry out a range of professional cleaning tasks specific to each patient’s particular requirements, including scaling and polishing the teeth and root planing, carried out with local or topical anaesthetic if necessary.  They may also apply particular medications and solutions to the mouth and gums to kill bacteria and prevent gum disease. 

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How often should I see the Hygienist?

This will vary depending on the state of oral health and is completely individual to each patient.  In the initial phase of treatment, some patients see the hygienist every, two, three or four weeks, until the problem is brought under control; after that depending on what is needed, it may be at monthly, 3 monthly or 6 monthly intervals.

Why do you need to control peridontal disease?

We must remember that the process of periodontal disease and loss of teeth can have a detrimental effect in the following areas:

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Appearance and self-confidence: because teeth contribute hugely to the way we look, they give shape to our face and smile and they affect our ability to speak clearly

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Health: loose or missing teeth can prevent us from eating crunchy, high fibre foods necessary for a balanced and nutritious diet

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Finally, it can result in costly and time-consuming procedures to extract and cosmetically repair or replace teeth.

Risk Factors

A number of factors can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.  The good news is that you might well be able to reduce your risk by simply changing some of your behaviour.  Smoking, poor oral hygiene, infrequent visits to the dentist or hygienist, inadequate nutrition and stress can all negatively impact on your oral health and lead to gum disease.

To help prevent gum disease you should:

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Brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day and ensure that you clean along the gum line between your teeth and gums

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Floss or clean between the teeth daily

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Eat a balanced diet

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Follow your dentist’s recommendations for the time period between visits.

 

    Advice and education

    The hygienist works in a team with the dentist and you, the patient, to provide a programme of oral care that is appropriate to your needs and lifestyle, in order to help you keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible; they are an excellent source of information on all matters of oral health.
    They can advise you on a range of oral health procedures and demonstrate how to carry them out effectively.  These include:

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Brushing with manual or electric toothbrush

 

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Flossing

Interdental cleaning

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More Interdental cleaning

Sub gingival (below the gum line) cleaning

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Dietary advice for adults and children

Diet plays a vital role in the prevention of dental caries. Most people are aware that sugary snacks are bad for our teeth, and that this could lead to an increase in decay. However it is not the amount of sugar in food that is harmful to our teeth it is the frequency in which we consume it.

How is sugar harmful?

Acid is measured on a PH scale – your mouth is pH 7 neutral, the lower the pH level the more acidic it is.
Every time you eat anything sugary your teeth are under an acid attack which can last for up to 1 hour. When this acid attack occurs the sugar in the food react with the bacteria that live in plaque and produce harmful acids which demineralise the teeth and destroy the enamel. Your teeth can cope with no more than 4 acid attacks per day, any more than this and you are putting yourself at a high risk of tooth decay. Patients must remember that a lot of foods and drinks contain hidden sugars and breakfast, lunch and dinner will most likely contribute to 3 of these daily acid attacks.

What foods cause decay?

  • All sugary food causes decay.

  • Sugar comes in many forms, the three main being fructose, sucrose, and glucose. When looking at sugar content on ingredient labels, the higher up the list the sugar appears, then the more sugar it contains in the product.

  • Some ingredient labels will try and hide the fact that the product contains a high amount of sugar by listing it as something else, for example: honey, sucrose, maltose, glucose, modified starch, dextrose, concentrated fruit juice, treacle, raw/brown sugar, fructose, molasses, hydrolysed starch, carbohydrate (of which sugars).

How to tell if your food is high or low in sugar (click here)

Should I brush my teeth after every meal?

It is very important to brush your teeth for two minutes twice per day last thing at night and on one other occasion using toothpaste with at least 1,450 ppm fluoride. However it is advised that you do not brush your teeth immediately after eating as the enamel is softened and you are effectively brushing it away. Chewing sugar free gum helps to produce saliva which neutralises acid in the mouth after eating or drinking.

Application of fluoride varnishes and gels

Some patients are more prone to dental caries than others; for high risk patients the referring dentist may ask your hygienist to apply a fluoride varnish or gel to the teeth.  The fluoride delivered as a varnish or gel strengthens any weakened enamel, hopefully thus preventing the need for any invasive treatment in the future. Obviously this is also dependent on the patient adhering to any advice given by their dental professional. 

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Instruction in the care of appliances for example dentures, bridges, implants and orthodontic devices

All additional appliances demand extra care in order for the patient’s oral health not to suffer and the hygienist can provide the specific advice needed.  Orthodontic devices in particular require the patient’s oral hygiene to be exceptional prior to and during treatment; and if this is not achieved it may cause treatment be delayed or discontinued.

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How to get the most benefit from seeing the Hygienist

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Ask questions and seek clarification of anything you are unclear about

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Ask the hygienist to demonstrate any tricky procedures, such as flossing

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If problems develop between visits, tell the hygienist about them so that she can advise or treat you appropriately.

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Try and carry out the cleaning procedures as best you can and stick to the programme suggested by your hygienist

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Although the hygienist plays a crucial part in maintaining the hygiene of your mouth, the most important person responsible for your oral health is yourself.

Oral Health Care In Pregnancy

Taking care of your oral health is crucial during pregnancy. The hormones produced in pregnancy can cause gums to soften and bleed leaving you more susceptible to gum disease (gingivitis), sensitivity and other tooth problems; if left untreated this can affect both mother and baby.

Top Tips

1)  

Make an appointment: When you have decided to start trying for a baby book a dental appointment so that any necessary dental work, i.e. x-rays, can take place pre-conception. If you're already pregnant, schedule a routine appointment for the second trimester; usually after the initial pregnancy sickness has subsided

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Brushing: It is more important than ever to brush and floss your teeth effectively during your pregnancy. Brush regularly and thoroughly (though not too vigorously) after meals or sugary snacks, at least twice a day.

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Invest in a good toothbrush: Using an electric/battery operated brush with fluoride toothpaste will ensure a thorough clean. If using a manual brush, concentrate on good technique and do not apply too much pressure.  Use a small headed brush to reach all those hard-to-get-to areas at the back of your mouth. It's also important to floss at least once a day.

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If you're suffering from pregnancy sickness: Avoid the temptation to brush immediately after being sick, the acid from your stomach can cause tooth erosion which will worsen with brushing. Instead drink a glass of water and return to brushing your teeth around an hour later.

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Rinse aid: Pregnancy sickness is common and the acid can be very damaging to the surface of your teeth, rinsing your teeth with a fluoride mouthwash can help.

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Mini brush and paste: Pregnancy can induce sugary cravings which you can ward off by cleaning your teeth on the go. Keep a mini brush and tube of paste in your bag at the ready for when those cravings strike.  

7)  

Watch your diet: Try not to give in to too many sugary cravings and stick to a healthy, well balanced diet packed with nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables.

Fillings and dental treatment in pregnancy

If you haven't visited the dentist for a while, now is the time! Not only will they be able to assess the condition of your teeth, but you can also visit the hygienist for a thorough clean and get some useful oral health tips which you can apply throughout pregnancy.  Also this is a life changing time when new habits can be instilled; not just during pregnancy but afterwards to help when caring for your new born child.

If you need a filling or two, your dentist will decide on the best course of treatment - taking into consideration your stage of pregnancy. Although there is no evidence to suggest mercury fillings are a health risk to pregnant women, their removal and application are generally avoided (where possible) until after the birth.

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dentist bedale, dentists in bedale, cosmetic dentist bedale

dentist bedale, dentists in bedale, cosmetic dentist bedale