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  • Yealmpton Dental Practice Limited

Dental hygiene: maintaining fresh breath with our specialist dentist

Maintaining good oral hygiene is the cornerstone of fresh breath and overall good health and often has a significant social impact. It can be tricky judging the freshness of your own breath, so let's find out more at our specialist dentist Devon about how you can help keep your breath fresh.

What is dental hygiene?


It can be taken as a given that we all know what dental hygiene means, but it's used as a euphemism that can cause misconception. Dental hygiene, as a broad term, refers to any activity that has an impact on your overall dental health. This could involve activities that cause direct damage to your teeth by grinding or abrasion, corrosion damage from acidic foods or increasing the risks of cavities from high sugar foods.


Children's dental hygiene


Dental hygiene is slightly different for children, not because the risk of cavities is greater (although it is) but due to their thinner enamel.


The lifespan of children's teeth is short, meaning that before any significant damage is likely to be done, they will be lost on to their adult set. But the purpose of hygiene and dental interaction with children is to set up good routines and a psychological grounding of how they should interact with their specialist dentist Devon. This can ensure good life-long engagement with services and help children maintain the health and integrity of their teeth and gums.


Children must use dental hygiene products made for them. The fluoride content in toothpaste and mouthwashes designed for children is significantly lower than that for adults; this minimises any potential harm caused by accidentally swallowing the product. Children are particularly sensitive to the effects of fluoride as they are still developing. Therefore, adult supervision is highly recommended during those “learning-to-brush” years.


Hygienist


Hygienists are key members of our staff at Yealmpton Dental Practice, and they focus on low-intensity treatments, primarily providing essential charting of pocket depth, monitoring gum disease and performing scale-and-polish treatments. It may not have the glimmer and prestige of performing titanium implants, but session after session, hygienists save more teeth than any specialist dentist Devon.


If you have been diagnosed with gum disease and are trying to reverse the condition in its early stages (the best way to save teeth and reduce costs), keeping track of this can be done by measuring the pocket depth; this is the gap between the teeth and the gum line. These appointments are usually made with our dental hygienist; they can provide a wider range of available slots, and this frees up the dental team's time to focus on more complicated and intensive tasks. A win-win for everyone.


Scale-and-polish


A scale-and-polish systematically removes any calcified plaque on your teeth called tartar, after which its surface will be polished to a high lustre.


As tartar cannot be safely removed at home, a scale-and-polish should be a semi-regular part of your dental hygiene routine. After being carried out two or three times a year at first, with these gaps becoming longer with the removal of plaque, the well-polished smooth tooth surfaces collect less plaque and, therefore, require scale-and-polishes less regularly.