You probably already know that a dentist is a doctor for your teeth, but what is a dental hygienist and what do they do? Here’s what you need to know about dental hygienists and how to know when you should see one.
Meet Your Dental Hygienist
So, what is a dental hygienist and how are they different from a dentist? A dental hygienist is someone who works with your dentist to help you keep your teeth and gums in top shape. While a dentist specializes in diagnosing and treating your teeth and gums, a dental hygienist cares for your smile by providing a professional cleaning.
A professional dental cleaning is important even if you brush and floss well at home because even the best home dental care routine can miss important areas between your teeth and along your gum line.
What is a Dental Cleaning Like?
Now that you know the answer to the question, “What is a dental hygienist?” your next question might be, “What is a dental cleaning like?”
When you get a professional dental cleaning, your dental hygienist might start by asking if you have any tender or extra sensitive areas of your teeth or gums. They will then, gently use special tools to clean your teeth and scrape away any plaque build-up and stains. They might also use a pressurized water tool to gently clean along your gum line and around any dental appliances.
Once your teeth have been cleaned thoroughly, your dental hygienist will finish by using a special polishing tool and flavored polishing paste to help your teeth look extra shiny and bright.
A Few Signs You Need a Cleaning
Regular dental cleanings are important, just like regular brushing and flossing, to help keep your smile healthy and feeling its best. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last cleaning, you’re due for another one! Or if you notice signs of tenderness or increased sensitivity, discoloration, bleeding gums, or your teeth feel “gritty” despite regular brushing, these can all be signs that it’s time for another cleaning!
Call our Odessa, TX, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.