Dental hygiene – is it worth it?

Dental hygiene – is it worth it?

Or perhaps more accurately we should be asking - how long do you want to keep your teeth for?

Finances are tricky for most people ordinarily and certainly so in today’s tough economy. However most people continue to respond to the consumer-orientated environment and prioritise their money for the things or activities that they particularly enjoy. Therefore, they are looking to cut back on the things which they don’t deem so important. Sadly, a visit to the hygienist seems to be one of those things which people find easy to cut out. The consequences of this are widely either misunderstood or ignored.

Most people assume that brushing their teeth twice a day will do the requisite amount of work and remove everything that needs removing. Most people are aware that a build-up of plaque is bad and therefore try their best to brush effectively at home to prevent it. But without very good oral hygiene it is inevitable that bacteria are left around the teeth. If a continued pattern, this will lead to gum recession, bone loss and ultimately tooth loss. There are a few lucky people for whom this will not apply, but for the vast majority good tooth care is paramount.

The role of a hygienist is to get rid of all of the plaque that we can’t reach. This sounds like a trivial thing, but particularly in patients who are susceptible to gum disease, hygienists are able to remove plaque from pockets that are 5mm deep or more. Even the most motivated patient will struggle to be able to clean these pockets at home.

Often, visiting the hygienist can be the scariest and most painful part of dental treatment. The common view is that fillings are necessary and hygiene can be left, so it’s tempting to avoid it – especially considering the associated cost. However there is so much more to gum care than is obvious, to ignore the hygiene side of the equation is foolish. There are so many teeth that are removed through necessity that could have been prevented. Inadequate care of the teeth has disastrous consequences. Sadly, these are irreversible and totally preventable.

A good hygienist, who can remove any pain and work effectively to get rid of all the build up around teeth, is worth their weight in gold. After all, as an adult, once your teeth have gone, you can’t grow new ones.   


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