Having a clean, healthy smile can definitely make you feel good about yourself.
Even though you may be very diligent about your oral hygiene with daily flossing and brushing you still need regular professional cleanings, also known as dental prophylaxis performed by a dental hygienist. Why? Because although proper brushing and flossing will remove most of the plaque that forms, it is impossible to eliminate it totally because our bodies produce plaque (dental biofilm) continuously. Immediately after your teeth are cleaned, a the clear, sticky film of plaque begins to form again. If this biofilm is left anywhere undisturbed for 2-3 weeks, gingivitis develops. Eventually, plaque that is left undisturbed will harden and attach to your teeth. These hard deposits are called calculus or tartar. Once tartar has attached to the teeth, brushing and flossing will not remove it. Tartar must be removed completely with dental instruments. Complete removal is key because tartar is significant in the progression of inflammatory periodontal disease which may not only cause a bad breath, but lead to other serious problems, both medical and dental.
Dental hygienists are dental professionals who specialize in oral hygiene
A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who specializes in promoting oral health and preventing periodontal disease. Dental hygienists perform many roles in a dental office including:
- Removing hard and soft deposits (tartar and plaque) as well as stains from teeth.
- Giving personalized oral hygiene instructions to patients.
- Administering cavity prevention treatments such as fluoride and sealants.
- Performing scaling and root planning for patients with periodontal disease
- Educating patients about periodontal disease and the importance of good oral hygiene.
Dental hygienists clean teeth thoroughly
Dental hygienists use different tools to complete individual patient assessments; they use hand instruments and often, ultrasonic devices to remove tartar, plaque and stains. Removal of tartar provides smooth tooth surfaces which facilitate teeth cleaning at home and promote gingival healing. Dental hygienists devote their undivided attention to these tasks, as they are trained specifically for it. Dental hygienists strive for excellence in this area, because they know healthy gums are the foundation for healthy teeth and influence overall health.
Dental hygienists are highly educated and skilled
Dental hygienists have undergone extensive education and training to provide dental hygiene care to their patients. An Associate of Arts degree from college is the minimum requirement to apply for Dental Hygiene school where 2 years of rigorous education combines classroom and clinical coursework in dental hygiene studies. Dental hygienists use their clinical skills to provide the highest standard of oral hygiene care and their interpersonal skills to motivate patients to achieve and maintain oral health. Dental hygienists with their extensive and specialized education are very highly regarded professionals within the dental community.
See our dental hygienist for your professional teeth cleanings, you will be glad you did. Make an appointment today.
Learn more about why you need professional teeth cleaning and dental exams >
Oakland dentist, Dr. Sharon Albright Oakland / Berkeley, CA Also serving Alameda, San Leandro and the surrounding East Bay, CA areas.