Plaque contains bacteria which leads to inflammation of the gums and is one of the factors that cause tooth decay. Gum inflammation can lead to gingivitis and gum disease, and over a long period may result in premature tooth loss and also bad breath. With fixed braces on, there are even more surfaces to clean to make sure the plaque is removed. Plaque accumulation combined with frequent sugar intake leads to tooth decay and holes in teeth needing fillings.
Hygienists are perfectly placed to spend time helping everyone in the family make sure they are cleaning their teeth effectively and keeping their risk factors for decay, gum disease and mouth cancer as low as achievable.
Dental Hygienists diagnose and treat gum disease. A hygienist appointment is a professional teeth clean where plaque and calculus is removed from the teeth (this is also know as a scale and polish). They clean around the gum-line with an ultrasonic scaler. The scaler uses a combination of water and vibrations to gently wash away debris. A dental nurse will remove the water with an aspirator. If the ultrasonic cleaner is not suitable, hand scalers will be used. The dental hygienist will give each patient a tailored cleaning approach to make sure the individual receives the correct care for their current oral health status.