It’s the Season for a Year-End Visit with Your Dental Hygienist
For many families in Bee Cave, TX, and the surrounding area, the holidays are all about gathering with loved ones, sharing gifts, and eating some tasty food. But before you get distracted by the excitement and hullabaloo of the season, don’t forget to come in for a dental hygiene appointment.
We recommend our patients come in for dental hygiene visits twice a year, even if their teeth feel fine. Biannual dental hygiene visits are a very important part of preventive oral health care, so if you haven’t been in to see us in the last six months, we really encourage you to schedule an appointment.
Dental hygiene visits are more than just a thorough teeth cleaning.
A dental hygiene visit does a lot more good than just making sure your smile is bright and beautiful in time for holiday festivities and photos with the family. In fact, the teeth cleaning portion of your visit is only one of many ways your hygienist is looking out for your overall oral health.
Here are some other ways your dental hygienist can help protect your oral health.
Identifying oral health issues before they flare-up.
Nothing can put a damper on your holiday spirit like a surprise toothache. Thankfully your hygienist will be able to spot tooth decay, cavities, and other issues before you’re even aware of them yourself.
One of the single most important reasons why regular dental hygiene visits are so crucial is because they serve as the first line of defense when it comes to prevention and proactive treatment. Catching oral health issues before they become a serious problem saves you a lot of time, money, frustration, and even potential pain from a toothache.
Checking for inflammation and signs of gum disease.
The health of your gums is paramount to your overall oral health and your hygienist will take very special care to make sure your gums and surrounding tissue are healthy.
Gum disease is a serious issue that affects about half of adults in America. Gum disease typically starts as gingivitis, and if left untreated, eventually turns into periodontitis. Gum irritation from plaque build-up is what causes the initial inflammation. Your hygienist removes this plaque, which helps reduce the chances of the inflammation developing in the first place, and alerts your dentist if inflammation is present and needs treatment.
Helping reduce future plaque/tartar build-up.
During the cleaning portion of your visit, your hygienist will remove plaque and tartar build-up, but they also help you to prevent future build-up by applying fluoride treatments and sealants.
Topical fluoride treatments are optional but highly recommended for protection from tooth decay. Sealants are another option that your hygienist may recommend. This treatment involves a special plastic coating being applied to your teeth (primarily the molars) to protect the tooth enamel from decay. Sealants are most often applied in children and teenagers, though adults may ask about this for themselves if interested.
Letting you know if your at-home care is effective.
How you care for your teeth at home has a huge affect on your oral health. Sometimes you might think you’re brushing and flossing properly or using the right products, but getting feedback from a dental professional is the only way to know for certain.
Your hygienist can tell a lot about your at-home care just from examining your mouth and asking a few questions. Don’t be afraid to ask your hygienist questions as well. If you’re unsure if you’re using the right toothpaste or mouthwash or even brushing with the right technique, they are more than happy to help you out in any way they can.
Noticing warning signs of systemic health concerns.
Dental hygiene visits not only give you insight into your oral health but your overall health as well. There is a clear connection between oral health and overall health, which means certain oral health issues can also point to systemic health issues. For example, research shows a strong link between severe gum disease and heart disease.
Your hygienist will notice these abnormalities and inform you of their concerns. From there you can consult your general doctor and have your health checked further. In some cases, your hygienist may notice these early warning signs well before your physician can.
What to expect during a dental hygiene visit at Tomasik Family Dental.
The team here are Tomasik Family Dental treat every patient like family and do their very best to make you feel as comfortable as possible during your dental hygiene visit.
Even though dental hygiene visits are fairly routine, our hygienists will go over every step of the process with you before and during treatment. The typical dental hygiene visit involves:
- Updating medical records and reviewing X-rays.
- Performing an exam of the teeth, gums, and soft tissues.
- A visual oral cancer screening (looking for any lesions, lumps).
- Measuring gum pockets to check for inflammation.
- Thoroughly scaling and cleaning your teeth to remove plaque.
- Polishing your teeth and applying fluoride.
- Scheduling additional appointments for future treatment.
It’s completely natural to feel nervous during a dental hygiene visit, especially if you’re a new patient or with a new hygienist. By keeping open communication and letting you know what will happen, we find our more anxious patients feel more relaxed.
We do encourage patients with anxiety to let us know if they feel nervous, however, we do understand that some individuals may prefer to keep it to themselves. If you prefer your privacy, we recommend practicing calming breathing exercises during your visit or listening to some music on earbuds.
Make a dental hygiene appointment at Tomasik Family Dental today.
We believe scheduling a routine dental hygiene appointment should be as easy as possible, so we offer three simple options.
You can either:
- Give us a call directly at 512.387.6195.
- Email us at [email protected]
- Fill out our online Make An Appointment form.
We know firsthand that the holiday season is a very busy time, and figuring out a schedule can be tricky. In order to help make things easier for our patients, we offer convenient late afternoon, lunch, and Saturday appointments. Just let us know what times are best for you and we’ll work together to find the right time.