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Can A Dentist Clean My Teeth?

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Dental Hygienist vs Dentist

During the regular check-up that you have with your dentist, their priority is not to clean your teeth – they need to perform an intra-oral and extra-oral risk assessment during each consultation, check for oral diseases such as oral cancer and gum disease, and take any necessary small and/or panoramic x-rays to discern signs of a problem that could become more serious if left untreated.

The dentist’s priority is to diagnose dental issues where they may occur and prescribe the relevant treatment to address it. It may be that temporary treatment is provided to alleviate symptoms of pain or discomfort, or additional treatment discussed (whether required by the dentist or requested by the patient).

Undoubtedly your dentist is qualified to address very importance aspects of your oral health, but cleaning your teeth is not one of them!

A dental hygienist is educated and trained specifically to treat and prevent oral diseases by thoroughly cleaning teeth and educating patients in how to look after their oral health at home.

What Longer-Term Problems Can Seeing A Hygienist Help Prevent?

Regular dental hygiene appointments can help address the following concerns:

– Bad breath (halitosis)

– Visible buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth

– Stained teeth

– Bleeding gums

– Receding gums

– Tooth sensitivity

– Tooth decay

– Loose teeth and even tooth loss

– Abscesses

Many of the issues above can also impact confidence and overall wellbeing.

Poor oral hygiene can be a bacterial breeding ground which can lead to periodontitis (gum disease). Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, strokes, generalised inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, and lung disease

A hygienist cannot prevent oral health problems alone – visiting a hygienist should be in addition to regular dental check-ups and maintaining proper oral hygiene at home. Your hygienist may also work with your periodontist to stabilize and control your oral health if you have been diagnosed with gum disease.

TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read)

The one thing to take away from this article is that preventative dentistry is key to avoiding costly (for your teeth and your pocket) dentistry in the future. Regular checkups with your dentist help to catch and treat issues early before they get out of hand, but fundamentally seeing a hygienist to help you maintain the health of your teeth and gums helps stop issues before they even start!

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