When you go to see your dentist, you’re most likely getting your pearly whites checked by multiple professionals. But who are all of these people inspecting your teeth?
They’re most likely dental hygienists, who are responsible for keeping your teeth fresh and your mouth free from gum diseases and infections. Dental hygienists and dentists work together to improve your oral health and treat infections.
What Is a Dental Hygienist?
Definition: A dental worker who specializes in inspecting and polishing teeth as well as providing preventive advice and dental hygiene tips.
What Is the Difference Between a Dentist and Dental Hygienist?
A dental hygienist works under the supervision of a licensed dentist and is the first dental worker to check out your teeth. They check out your mouth, clean your teeth, inspect your gums for gingivitis, wash away plaque, and work with you to develop better oral care. Dentists will see you after your dental hygienist is through checking out your chompers. A dentist’s job is to repair any problems in your teeth, examine and discuss x-ray results, fill cavities, and prescribe any appropriate medication.
In short, dentists treat damaged teeth and oral infections while dental hygienists perform preventative procedures.
What to Expect From Your Dental Hygienist
During your dental appointment, you will first meet with one of Cirocco Dental’s skilled dental hygienists who will assess your oral hygiene.
Your dental hygienist will:
- Perform general dental care and focus on ensuring healthy teeth and gums
- Remove plaque from your teeth
- Check for any stain build-up
- Examine tartar
- Polish your teeth
- Review your oral history
- Discuss your current dental hygiene practices (including how frequently you brush your teeth, floss, use mouthwash, the type of toothpaste you use, what you typically eat, etc.)
- Educate you on proper teeth brushing and flossing techniques
- Take any necessary oral X-rays
If you have a complicated medical history, have undergone any recent surgeries, or are taking medications, you need to let your dental hygienist know. To be safe, you should bring a list of all medications you’re currently taking when you come in for your checkup.
Once your dental hygienist is finished, the dentist (like Dr. Cirocco) will give your teeth another check. If there are any oral health concerns, they will be addressed and a plan for treatment will be made.
How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?
In a perfect world, you should be visiting your dentist every six months. If you smoke or are having oral issues, you may want to see your dentist even more often.
We understand things happen and you live a busy life, but keeping up with your regularly scheduled dental visits can save you from serious oral issues later. Your dental visits will keep your teeth clean, your gums healthy, and your mouth pain-free.