Building A Relationship With Your Dental Hygienist

Like most people, you probably know your dentist’s name, but what about the name of your dental hygienist? You may not think about them too much, but a dental hygienist is very critical to your oral health. Before your next visit to your dentist in Cary, NC, learn about what your dental hygienist does and how they can help improve your oral health. At DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads, we are proud to have several dental hygienists who are wonderful at helping all our patients. Compassionate and well-educated, a terrific dental hygienist can make sure that you have a good experience when you visit the dentist and make sure you keep coming back for regular cleanings and oral health examinations.

When you go to your dentist in Cary, NC, most of your appointment will probably be completed by your dental hygienist. They take x-rays, check your oral health, clean your teeth, also work with you to improve your home oral routine. As long as you don’t have any major issues, you will likely spend more time with your dental hygienist than your dentist. If you’re anxious or have fears about going to the dentist (dentophobia), tell your dental hygienist. They can walk you through what will happen during your oral health examination and cleaning so you aren’t surprised. They can also stop for frequent breaks and work in smaller sections to help keep you relaxed and comfortable.

    One time each year, you should get electronic x-rays to help your dental team better evaluate the health of your mouth. Your dental hygienist will normally take these at the start of your appointment. Digital x-rays generally only take a few minutes and use very little radiation as a small sensor is placed between your teeth while the dental hygienist takes the images. Every few years, you may need a full mouth series of digital x-rays. Your dental hygienist will help position you in the device, which will rotate around you as you stand still. A full mouth series of x-rays helps your dental team check the health of your jawbone and gums.
    No one is perfect when it comes to their oral hygiene. Maybe you don’t brush as often or as long as you should. This is why your dental hygienist takes the time to deep clean your enamel at least twice a year. Your dental hygienist will carefully remove built-up plaque and tartar from your enamel using special tools. Once your enamel is free of buildup, your dental hygienist will polish your enamel to remove stains. This helps brighten and fortify your smile.
    During your visits, your dental hygienist can help answer your questions about brushing and flossing technique. It’s crucial that you are both cleaning your teeth often enough (twice a day) and doing it properly. Your dental hygienist can also recommend products, like a particular toothpaste or mouthwash. After your cleaning, they can also point out areas that you may want to pay more attention to at home if there’s a good deal of plaque and tartar.
    Fluoride treatments are usually recommended for younger patients, but older patients may also request them. If you are getting a professional fluoride treatment, your dental hygienist will generally perform it after your cleaning and oral health examination in whichever flavor you choose. Your dental hygienist will time the treatment and help you get through it if you’re nervous. Afterward, your dental hygienist will tell you how long you should wait before eating or drinking.
    There’s no such thing as a dumb question. Dental hygienists have heard it all. In case you have any questions or concerns, talk to your dental hygienist. Tell your dental hygienist if flossing makes your gums bleed or if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity. A dental hygienist can answer questions about chronic bad breath or help you decide if you want to get a cosmetic treatment like laser whitening or porcelain veneers.
    Throughout your appointment, your dental hygienist will perform an oral health examination. A dental hygienist looks for indicators of cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. If they find any problems, your dental hygienist will talk to your dentist so they can diagnose the problem and talk about your treatment options.

To be a dental hygienist, a person will need to complete at least a two-year higher education program after high school in dental hygiene. Most hygienists choose to earn a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree in dental hygiene. Most states require dental hygienists to complete a dental hygiene education program approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). After this, they will be allowed to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination. Once they pass, they will be a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH). After this, most states require dental hygienists to take a minimum number of continuing education courses every year or every few years to keep their license. In short, your dental hygienist worked hard to get their job and they still continue to learn about the most recent tools and techniques so they can better help you and your family.

Now that you know more about the important role dental hygienists play in improving your oral health, speak to a dental practice in Cary, NC to schedule an oral health examination and cleaning for yourself and your whole family. Hopefully, you’ll be more mindful of how hard your dental hygienist is working and learn more about her or him. If you’re looking for a terrific dental practice with wonderful dental hygienists, we would really like to schedule an appointment for you at DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads.