Understanding Dental Hygiene and the Role of Dental Hygienists in Jamaica

Dental hygiene or oral hygiene involves cleansing and maintenance of teeth and gums. It is not merely limited to what is done in the dental clinic but also covers what one does at home to care for one’s teeth and gums.
Moreover, dental hygiene goes much further and involves a dental hygienist, a registered dental professional, with a broad range of tasks who work to enhance or maintain oral health. These hygienists work for periodontal specialists with advanced training in treatment and care of periodontal disease.
So, if you are looking for a dentist near you in Jamaica, Radiant Star Dental is your best pick for quality dental hygiene.
Dental hygiene

Functions of a Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist goes beyond teeth cleansing. Several people invest a lot of time with the dental hygienist as compared to their dentist. This relation is key for patient’s comfort, consistency, and compliance with respect to recommended dental care.
1. Professional Teeth Cleaning: This involves removal of bacterial buildup from teeth and gums occurring in two forms – soft plaque accumulation and hard tartar deposits. This buildup can be easily removed from the exposed part of each tooth or more difficult areas like under the gums. Its necessary to get rid of this buildup as it can result in periodontal disease. It also helps in getting rid of the bacteria produced giving your body an opportunity to recover from the inflammatory disease.
2. Dental Imagery: Dental x-rays are required for close monitoring of teeth and gums taken at regular gaps. In a dental x-ray, the jawbone is clearly visible permitting your dentist to gauge its health and attachment to each tooth. An x-ray quite often shows a periodontal condition which the external appearance hides. The three-dimensional images hence produced offers a three-dimensional view of the bone attachment around each tooth. This in turn assists the specialist in locating and treating isolated areas of bone loss.
3. Assessing Risk: A dental hygienist acquires training to scour for red flags or suspicious areas to identify signs indicating the patient is at high risk for periodontal disease or cavities. Akin to many diseases, detection at nascent stages offers the best chance for successful treatment. Looking for particular risk areas also assists in customising preventive recommendations.
4. Preventive Dentistry: Several procedures are performed for preventing dental disease, professional teeth cleaning as the prominent and common one. The preventive treatment that is advised is based after assessing your risk. In case the risk for gum disease is high, the only preventive options is to get professional teeth cleaning done more frequently. Antibiotic medication is also placed by a dental hygienist directly on to areas of progressive periodontal disease. If there’s a heightened risk of development of new cavities, the dental hygienist may place dental sealants on the back of the teeth for preventing bacteria from accumulating in the deep pits and grooves. A professional fluoride treatment may also be applied for strengthening and hardening the enamel on your teeth and making it more resilient to cavities.
5. Educating Patient: Future dental diseases can be prevented by obtaining a better understanding of the specific risk areas and the disease processes associated with them. As each individual is unique, they need to know various information regarding their specific dental care. Certain people need accessory tools along with traditional toothbrush and floss for proper cleansing of their teeth.
6. Maintaining Gum Health: Patients with history of periodontal disease require a dental hygienist’s assistance to maintain the health of their gums. To prevent gum diseases from recurring consistent teeth cleanings need to be done with the interval varying from person to person. Factors including smoking, diabetes, or a genetic predisposition increase your risk and needs frequent intervention for staying healthy.