A Third Of UK Adult Patients Don’t See A Hygienist
26 March 2018
If you are one of the 33%, you may be letting down your teeth.
A recent study has shown that around a third of all adult UK dental patients have never had an appointment with the dental hygienist, with over half of all respondents believing that seeing the dentist was sufficient to have healthy teeth. The reason for these lack of visits is varied, including cost and the belief that people looked after their teeth well and did not need to see the hygienist.
As our Surbiton dentists will tell you though, brushing your teeth at home only reaches approximately 60% of the tooth’s surface, leaving the other 40% highly exposed to the acids and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.
We know that brushing our teeth can clean the flatter part of the tooth surface, but getting in the gaps in between the teeth effectively is highly unlikely by using a toothbrush alone. As only around one in five of us use dental floss, that means that most of us make no additional attempt to clean these areas where many problems start.
We do recommend that patients floss their teeth and this will certainly help to keep these areas clean. This does not negate the need for seeing the hygienist at the Confidental Clinic though, as we will see below.
Benefits of hygienist visits
Seeing the hygienist may be an additional expense, but given the benefits it brings, this is a small investment that we feel is well worth the cost. Many of our Surbiton patients who see the hygienist for the first time, have told us that they found it very beneficial and wished that they had done it sooner.
There are two key elements to a hygienist visit:
Our hygienists will not ‘lecture’ you about your habits which may lead to dental or gum disease problems, but will help you to understand the consequences of certain actions as well as advising how to clean more effectively at home. This is especially useful for younger patients and can really help them to protect their teeth throughout their life. The relaxed atmosphere at these visits also affords patients the opportunity to ask any questions about their oral health.
However well we clean our teeth at home, nothing can beat a professional clean carried out by the hygienist. This is not an unpleasant procedure and helps to remove hard bacteria, known as tartar, which builds up on the teeth and gum line. Following this clean, your mouth will feel much fresher and you may notice that your teeth also appear brighter, giving you a nicer smile.
If you have never seen a dental hygienist, it is never too late. This is a simple step that patients can take to significantly improve the health of their teeth and gums. To make your appointment to see the hygienist at our Surbiton dental surgery, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8399 1291.