If you have never had a dental hygienist appointment before, it can be a daunting experience that leaves you feeling nervous and apprehensive, and that is not something that you should be feeling when you go to the dentist. One of the best ways to try and overcome your fear is making sure that you are prepared and that you know what you can expect from your hygienist appointment.
Something else you should do is not pay any attention to the experiences that other people have had at their appointments. No mouth is the same and everyone has different conditions and issues when it comes to their dental health. Focus on your own appointment and go in with an open mind. That being said, we are on hand to tell you what you can expect from your dental hygienist appointment:
Preparation before your appointment
It might sound counterproductive to clean your teeth before your hygienist appointment, but it just makes sure that your breath is fresh and your mouth is debris-free, helping to make the hygienist’s job much easier and, ultimately, more comfortable for you. In terms of preparation you have to do yourself before your appointment, that was pretty much it, go with a fresh mouth and clean teeth.
Before the appointment itself, you will need to make sure that you are answering the hygienist’s questions about your dental history as accurately and as honestly as possible. They will ask you questions that give them more of an idea of your lifestyle and what they can expect from you moving forward, as the patient.
If, for example, you are a huge tea and coffee drinker, they will expect some brown staining on the teeth. If they expect that, then they know that it’s normal for you. Some of the questions you should expect your hygienist to ask include the following:
- Do you use a manual or an electric toothbrush?
- How often do you brush your teeth?
- Do you brush behind your teeth?
- Do you brush your teeth in between meals
- Do you floss?
- Do you have any fillings?
- Do you have any crowns, implants or bridges?
- Have you had any teeth removed?
Once they have received the answers to your questions, they will be able to impart expert advice and guidance on the best possible techniques to use when it comes to dental hygiene. You should keep in mind that the advice they are giving is bespoke to you and your individual situation, which falls in as part of your treatment.
During your examination
You might have thought that the preparation involved some of the examination, and where you would be right, that is only the first part. The examination itself is far more in-depth than the initial prep work. During the examination, and now being armed with all of the information you gave them, together with what they have learnt from your medical history, they assess your gums, your teeth and other soft tissues in the vicinity.
Gum health is essential and so they will look for: irregularities, bleeding and early signs of gum disease. If they find something that concerns them, they will let you now and discuss a way forward regarding treatment and solutions. As well as gums, teeth and soft tissue, they will also identify where the largest amount of plaque and tartar lies, so they can focus on that as well as the health of your tooth enamel.
The cleaning of the teeth
After the hygienist has performed their examination, they will get to work actually cleaning your teeth. This is also referred to as a scale and polish. Despite the fact that you rigorously clean your teeth, along with flossing and using mouthwash, you would be surprised at the number of hard-to-reach areas you have missed. This is why hygienist appointments are imperative for everyone. But what is a scale and polish?
A scale involves the removal of plaque and tartar build-up, helping to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Polishing, on the other hand, smooths the surface of the teeth, removing any stains in the process. It is important to note, however, that the scaling and polishing will require the use of electronic equipment. But you should not panic, because a hygienist appointment is completely non-invasive and pain-free, unless you have the early signs of gum disease or are suffering with it entirely. Your hygienist will talk you through the procedure, preparing you every step of the way.
You will be given some advice afterwards
Much like how you would have received some advice prior to the treatment itself, you will also be given some afterwards. Either the same advice will be reiterated or they will give you some more hints and tips to ensure the health of your teeth and mouth. This is also the opportunity for you to ask any questions you might have, as well as book your next appointment. A hygienist appointment should be booked every six months for optimum cleanliness and superior dental hygiene.
Quorn Dental Practice & Implant Clinic are highly-experienced, fully-qualified specialist dentists with a wealth of knowledge to draw upon. Whether you’re looking for cosmetic dental treatments, periodontal treatment or even a general check-up, you’ll be able to rely on the experts for help. If you would like further information about our dental treatments, get in touch with a member of our professional team today – we’re always pleased to hear from you.