dental hygienist careful professional dentist in white uniform treating patient's teeth, making perfect smile for patients, using medical equipment

What Does a Dental Hygienist Do?

The American Dental Association recommends visiting your dentist at least once a year for an oral exam and cleaning. These services are often performed by a dental hygienist.

Dental hygienists provide patients with preventative oral care under the supervision of a licensed dentist. Hygienists use a variety of tools and techniques to remove plaque, tartar, and stains from the teeth, while simultaneously helping patients achieve and maintain a bright and healthy smile.

With Dental Hygienist Week spanning from April 11th to the 17th, there’s no better time to explain the job of a dental hygienist and why you should visit yours regularly.

Health History

One of the most important parts of a routine dental exam involves conducting a thorough health history. Before performing any dental work, a hygienist will go over the patient’s health history to learn about any past or current medical conditions, medications the patient may be taking, possible allergies, and oral health risks. This information can be used by a dentist and hygienist to develop a personalized treatment plan.

Patient Screening

As part of a thorough oral health exam, dental hygienists screen patients for tooth decay and oral disease. The hygienist will also look for any unusual lumps, sores, or discoloration in the mouth that may indicate a medical condition. The hygienist may conduct an oral cancer screening to look for signs of precancerous conditions or cancer in the mouth. Regular oral cancer screenings can help identify oral cancer early on when there is the greatest chance of successful treatment.

Teeth X-Rays

Dental x-rays, or radiographs, are images of your teeth that can be used to evaluate a patient’s oral health and diagnose disease or damage that may not be visible during a clinical dental exam. Dental hygienists often take dental x-rays during routine visits or more often based on the patient’s age, dental problems, and risk of oral disease.

Dental Cleanings

What does a dental hygienist do? Hygienists use a variety of tools and techniques to remove stubborn plaque and tartar from the teeth. Regular dental cleanings can help prevent cavities and keep teeth looking beautiful, white, and healthy. Your hygienist will also polish your teeth using a slow-speed hand-piece that returns their original smoothness. Additionally, they may recommend fluoride treatments to help strengthen the enamel.

Patient Dental Education

There is always something new to learn when it comes to caring for your teeth. Dental hygienists play a big role in educating children and adults on how to best care for their teeth. In addition to showing proper brushing and flossing techniques, your dental hygienist may recommend certain products, suggest a change in diet, or explain how to treat oral health conditions you may be struggling with, such as chronic bad breath or tooth sensitivity.

Schedule a Dental Visit

Vero Elite Dentistry delivers the highest quality dental experience in Vero Beach, Florida. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.

Our friendly team of health professionals are looking forward to hearing from you!