Find out why patients across Perth’s northern suburbs come to our dental hygienist and oral health therapists.
Prevention is better than cure, which is why a hygiene appointment (or a ‘scale and clean’) with our dental hygienist is so important. By placing greater emphasis on regular hygienes and giving patients more time with our dental hygienist, we ensure the families who come to us from across Perth’s northern corridor are less likely to require major restoration procedures in the future.
What exactly is a hygiene?
A hygiene, sometimes called a ‘scale and clean’, is preventive care, usually performed by our experienced dental hygienist or oral health therapists.
Experience tells us that, when combined with regular brushing and flossing, specialist hygiene care minimises or even eliminates the risk of major dental treatments down the track.
What’s the difference between a dental hygienist and an oral health therapist?
Dental hygienists work with dentists to provide oral health assessments, treatments and education, with a view to promoting good oral health habits and preventing oral disease. They provide a range of oral care and preventive services, including periodontal/gum treatments.
Like dental hygienists, oral health therapists work with dentists to provide the same oral health care, education and preventive services as hygienists. However, oral health therapists are specially qualified to work with children and adolescents.
What happens during a hygiene?
A hygiene involves using ultrasonic equipment and fine hand tools to remove plaque and calculus deposits that have built up over time, both above and below the gum line.
Once the teeth are cleaned, they are polished and then fluoride is applied.
Why is fluoride applied during a hygiene?
Fluoride is applied to the tooth’s enamel to help make it more resistant to cavities, erosion and sensitivity.
What is plaque and calculus?
Plaque is a sticky, colourless film of bacteria and sugars that forms on teeth. When it isn’t removed properly, it hardens into visible calculus that absorbs stains – it’s most obvious on the inside of front teeth.
If calculus isn’t removed, it may cause inflammation and irritation of the gums and teeth, which can lead to gingivitis, gum disease and, eventually, the loss of teeth.
It’s also important to note, regular brushing and flossing can’t remove calculus.
How often should I brush, floss and see a dental hygienist?
We generally recommend a hygiene every six months, as part of your regular preventive care, although your dentist may recommend more regular examinations.
Six monthly hygienes, along with brushing twice a day (for at least two minutes) and daily flossing, will ensure you maintain good oral health.