What is a Dental Hygienist?
The maintenance of your healthy gums and teeth is an essential part of your overall health.
A dental hygienist or oral health therapist is a qualified dental health professional that has been trained to inspect your mouth and teeth, administer local anaesthesia, remove stains, tartar, and other deposits from teeth, perform scale and cleaning, apply preventative agents, prepare clinical and diagnostic tests, takes dental x-rays, and performs many other services related to the care of your mouth and teeth. They perform these duties under the supervision of a qualified dentist.
Our Oral Health Therapist is your go-to person for your regular cleaning and treatment of children under 18.
Services Provided by an Oral Health Therapist
No matter how well you brush your teeth, regular professional scale and cleans are required to clean the tartar build-up from those hard-to-reach spots and from under the gums. If neglected, retained plaque and tartar cause tenderness and gingivitis, which can stop you from reaching difficult areas. This can spiral down to gum disease and caries. Your teeth and gums must be cleaned correctly and efficiently, so you can keep your teeth healthy for life.
Dental Polishing & Flossing
After your teeth are scaled, they may be polished. In most cases, a gritty paste is used for this. It helps to remove any surface stains on your teeth. The final step is flossing. Your dental professional will use floss to make sure the areas between your teeth are clean.
Treatment of Periodontal (Gum) Disease
If you have already developed gum disease, which means you have had some bone loss around the teeth leading to pockets of gum, then the cleanse needs to reach the depth of these pockets to prevent further bone loss. This “periodontal debridement” is usually done in a few sessions and often a quarter of the mouth at a time and under local anaesthetic. Your therapist is licenced to administer local anaesthetic and perform your deep clean under the guidance of the dentist or a periodontist.
Invisalign Clear Orthodontic Aligners
Under the dentist’s supervision, Oral health therapists can take the digital scans to see if you are a suitable candidate for Invisalign; they can also fit your clear aligners when they arrive. The therapist will give you your instructions and see you regularly to ensure you are on the right track. The dentist is intimately involved in this process.
Teeth Whitening is an important cosmetic dental treatment; it can be risky if performed by untrained hands. Tooth whitening is not a suitable option for every person, which is why we require a consultation. A qualified dentist or oral health therapist assessment is needed to determine if you will be suited for this treatment. Having whitening done by a trained dental professional can safeguard your gum health and the health of the pulp inside the tooth during and after the whitening procedure.
Mouthguards & Night Guards
Your oral therapist will also scan your mouth for digital impressions or obtain physical impressions for night guards and mouth guards. These are devices designed to protect your teeth from the trauma of sporting impacts as well as nocturnal grinding and clenching.
Oral hygiene Instruction/ Dietary Advice
You would be surprised to know that brushing itself can potentially harm your teeth if done incorrectly. Your therapist will advise you what dental hygiene routine and products will suit you best. They can also advise you on how you can minimise your risk of dental disease by tweaking your habits and your diet.
An oral health therapist is trained and licenced to see children under 18 for their general dental care. This includes fissure sealants, cleans, fillings and extractions of primary teeth when needed. Children need to develop a lot of trust, so their dental experience must be as pleasant as possible. When it comes to oral hygiene and diet, setting good habits from an early age is very important.
Oral Hygiene Tips
What should you do between each dental visit? Be sure to take care of your teeth and gums between regular dental visits. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but you can manage it by brushing and flossing regularly. Here are some tips for good oral care at home.