Dental Hygienists Are Dental Teachers and Coaches

You see your dental hygienist regularly, and you may think of the visit as vital, routine, or a bonus safety check. If you produce a lot of tartar, you will want to visit your hygienist more often than if you don’t. Tartar is a white, hard deposit that develops if you don’t get rid of plaque. According to WebMD,  “. . . if plaque is allowed to remain on your teeth and harden. . . after just 26 hours. . . the plaque hardens into tartar, or dental calculus. Because it has mineralized onto your teeth, tartar is far more difficult to remove than plaque.”

phoenix_dentist_examTheresa Haskell, a hygienist in Dr. Carol Ford’s dental office says “Tartar is natural, everyone produces it. Some people produce a lot more than others, even with careful brushing and flossing. The acid bacteria produce can erode a tooth underneath the tartar, leading to decay. That’s why having it professionally removed is so important,” Theresa adds.

While your dentist does the diagnoses and recommends the treatment, your hygienist can handle a lot of the education to make your life easier. Dentists, hygienists and you are a team, and every member of that team cares about your teeth and gums as well as your overall health.

The American Dental Association points out that patient education has advantages for both the patient and the hygienist: “One of the most enjoyable aspects of a career in dental hygiene is working with people. Personal fulfillment comes from providing a valuable health care service while establishing trusting relationships with patients.”

The hygienist who makes a recommendation is hoping to keep you healthy and help you break habits that are not in your best interest. “We encourage you to ask any questions about taking care of your teeth,” says Theresa. “The answers to those questions can improve the quality of your life—and that puts a smile on everyone’s face.”

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