Confessions of a Dental Hygienist

Cartoon of a dental hygienist holding a dental tool.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

The odds are good that behind every positive dental experience you’ve had, there’s been a great dental team involved. That doesn’t stop at the dentist, but extends to the hygienists, assistants, and even the front office staff. One thing that every great dental team has in common is passion for the job. Fortunately, there’s a lot to love about the work, most of all the opportunity to really help people on their oral health journeys.

As a veteran dental hygienist myself I can safely say I’ve seen it all. I’ve helped patients with everything from sensitivity, to receding gums, to cases of advanced tooth decay. There are issues I see every day that, despite being commonplace, catch many people off guard. Which is why I want to share some of my confessions in the hope that they may prove helpful to you in your own journey. Here are a few common dental problems:

1. Missing Teeth Are Surprisingly Common

We come across many patients, who for one reason or another, happen to be missing one or more teeth. Statistically this isn’t surprising. According to estimates, over 50% of Americans are missing at least one tooth. What is surprising is the number of patients who’ve delayed getting the restorative dental care they need. This can be a huge issue since your other teeth can drift out of place over time, and even have an increased risk for tooth decay themselves. If you’ve been considering restorative care it’s definitely worth scheduling a consultation!

2. Tooth Sensitivity Can Point to Bigger Issues

I’ve had a number of patients casually mention that cold foods like ice cream trigger tooth pain. This isn’t normal! If this happens to you it’s possible your enamel is wearing away or that your gums have receded, exposing nerves. Keeping on top of your oral care routine can help reduce sensitivity. So can regular checkups.

3. Flossing Is Always Worth It

“You’re bleeding because you don’t floss,” has become something of a cliche at this point. However, many patients still admit to leaving flossing out of their routine. I can confess to not being crazy about flossing myself, but it really is invaluable! Flossing gets rid of plaque and bacteria that brushes just can’t reach. I’ve recently started incorporating a water flosser into my own routine, which is much less of a hassle.

Preventive Care Without Judgment at Summit Family Dentistry

Has it been awhile since you visited the dentist? Are you afraid of what the dentist or hygienist might say? Don’t wait any longer to visit Summit Family Dentistry for a professional exam and hygiene cleaning. Our caring team is here to help you improve your oral health. We won’t embarrass or shame you if your oral health habits have been lacking in the past. The sooner problems are taken care of, the sooner you’ll be on your way to a healthier smile.

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Summit Family Dentistry

Summit Family Dentistry