When it comes to good dental health, prevention really is the best medicine. Dental Hygienist/Therapist Lynn Nash discusses the important role that the team play in dental care, especially preventive dental health and treating gum disease.

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We are specially trained to work as part of the whole dental team, we play an important part in dental health care and are mainly concerned with preventive dental health and treating gum disease. With a combination of classic hygiene therapy, we also show you correct home care and help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Our main work is to prevent and treat gum disease, this includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar, usually called a ‘scale and polish’. However, through preventive dental care we show you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. We also give advice about diet and about preventing tooth decay and will work with you to give you care that is tailored to your needs.

By discussing your diet with you and recommending other preventive measures, we can help you stick to a routine that will help combat tooth decay. By having regular visits and advice, this will not only inform you about what you should be doing but it will give you the confidence and knowledge to keep your mouth healthy. Adults who already have a lot of tooth decay can benefit from having fluoride applied, anti-bacterial gels and solutions can also be applied to kill the bacteria causing gum disease.

Another major part of our work is informing patients that giving up smoking is vital, not only will this reduce staining and improve your general health, but research also shows that smokers have more gum disease and lose more teeth than non-smokers. We can advise you on various ways of giving up smoking and can provide special advice for home care if you have dental implants or orthodontic appliances.

For the younger generation, children can also benefit from having their teeth polished and we are able to apply fluoride varnishes to help prevent decay. The ‘adult’ back teeth can benefit from having the biting surfaces sealed soon after the teeth come through.

You may wonder why the dentist doesn’t do this work?
Sometimes dentists will do this type of work themselves, however, at North Bridge our Dentists fully recognise that we are specially trained to carry out scaling and polishing and that we can spend longer time with you.

CONCLUSION
Of course, there’s a lot that you can to help yourself as you are the one who looks after your mouth in between visits to the practice. We can show you how to remove plaque with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste and how to clean between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes, floss or tape.

We really hope that this article has explained what it is that we do as well as highlighting the many benefits of seeing a Dental Hygienist.

In the meantime, there are some simple steps that you can take to help keep your teeth and gums healthy:
•    Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste.
•    Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
•    Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.
•    There are many oral care products you can use including specialist toothpastes, electric   toothbrushes and mouthwashes, floss or tape.

If you think that you would benefit from seeing the Dental Hygienist at North Bridge Dental, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for help and advice.