Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a dental hygienist? Maybe you have been curious about what your dental hygienist was thinking as he or she cleaned your teeth? Here is a little round-up of things your dental hygienist wishes you knew…
1. We know when you haven’t been flossing. It is no joke that flossing is essential to your good oral health. Your dental hygienist can most definitely tell if you have been flossing or not by the condition of your gums and by how much bleeding you have during your cleaning. And it is not the cleaning that has caused your gums to bleed, by the way. In most cases it is inflammation associated with the bacteria in the plaque left between your teeth from not flossing!
2. Your medical history is extremely important to your oral health. When asked about changes to your medical history it is amazing how many patients respond with “no changes that affect my teeth!” The truth is, most medical conditions and medications have an affect on your oral health. Diabetes, heart disease and stroke are some common conditions that, along with the medications associated with them, have a direct link to your health. Please be honest when updating your medical history – your teeth, gums and overall health with thank you!
3. Our treatment room is a judgement free zone. So many times we hear our patients say that they are embarrassed for us to see their teeth. It is so important that you know that we absolutely will not judge you. Even if you have neglected your teeth for the last 20 years, the important thing is that you are deciding to change that by doing what you can to get your oral health under control now. It takes a lot of courage to make a change in your life. We recognize that and will become your oral health cheerleader! We want the same thing you want – healthy teeth and gums!
4. Your child behaves better when you are in the reception area. This is a tough one for many parents to acknowledge. Sometimes there is an underlying fear or anxiety of the dental office that the parent is unknowingly projecting onto the child, sometimes children just listen better in a new setting when their parent is not right in front of them. While we would never ask that you wait outside the treatment room, often when the parent makes this choice it makes for a smoother, more positive appointment. Our goal is for your child to have a great experience!
5. Your tongue needs to be brushed twice per day as well. The tongue is often neglected by even the most diligent patient! Your tongue has grooves that trap bacteria like you wouldn’t believe. This bacteria can change the pH in the mouth putting you at a higher risk of getting a cavity as well as increasing your risk of gum disease. A tongue scraper is the perfect tool for gently cleaning the tongue, but you could just as easily use your toothbrush to gently brush from the back to the front.
Stay tuned for future lists of things your dentist and dental hygienist would like you to know!