smiling woman in dental chair about to receive a teeth cleaning

What Your Dental Hygienist Can Do for You

When it comes to achieving and maintaining optimal oral health, routine dental cleanings are essential. You already know that your hygienist removes plaque and tartar from your teeth. But there is so much more that goes into your dental visit. At Walnut Pond Dental, our hygienists are well-versed in the latest techniques and technologies. They are also passionate about fostering long-lasting relationships with our patients. Curious to know what really goes on during your hygiene appointments? Read on to learn exactly what your dental hygienist in Clinton, NJ can do for you.

Cavity Detection

You’re probably used to a little bit of scraping… but do you ever wonder what’s going on when your hygienist pokes or presses on your teeth with instruments? One specific tool, called an explorer, is used to detect tooth decay. When a cavity begins, the enamel becomes demineralized. This process exposes the softer tooth layers underneath. If a tooth is healthy, the explorer will simply glide over the surface. However, if the explorer “sticks”, it indicates there is tooth decay in the area.

Periodontal Charting

Did you know that each tooth sits in a pocket within the gums? A specialized dental instrument called a periodontal probe can measure the depths of these pockets in millimeters. By gently sliding the instrument between the tooth and gum at six different points, your hygienist can determine if there is any bone loss. A healthy tooth measures between one and three millimeters. Generally, if gingivitis is present, the pocket will measure around four millimeters. Anything above that indicates some degree of periodontitis. Typically, your hygienist will perform periodontal charting at every routine visit. Therefore, if problems are developing, they can be detected early. In turn, the condition can be treated much more effectively in a less invasive manner.

Dental Prophylaxis

A dental prophylaxis is a fancy term for “teeth cleaning”. But what is really happening during this portion of your visit? Your dental hygienist in Clinton, NJ removes plaque deposits, debris, bacteria, and other irritants that have accumulated on your teeth. This process is completed with the help of traditional hand scalers and ultrasonic instruments. A dental prophylaxis needs to be performed regularly to keep bacteria levels at bay. Most patients can enjoy optimal oral health with cleanings every six months. Individuals who are prone to issues like decay or gum disease usually benefit from more frequent appointments.

Personalized Care for Your Unique Needs

Your dental hygienist in Clinton, NJ is an expert in customized care. Not all dental patients are the same; your hygiene appointments should be catered to your specific needs. For example, if you are predisposed to developing cavities, you may be given a topical fluoride treatment or have dental sealants placed. These preventative procedures can prevent and protect your teeth from decay. If you suffer from dry mouth, your hygienist will work with you to determine an at-home regimen that will help you stay hydrated and address the symptoms associated with the condition. If you regularly trap food in a particular area, your hygienist can show you which dental hygiene tools can effectively reach the area. No matter what your situation, our team at Walnut Pond Dental can help you develop a routine that will address your unique needs.

Book an Appointment with Your Dental Hygienist in Clinton, NJ

The first step in achieving excellent oral health is attending dental cleanings. If it has been awhile since your last visit, schedule an appointment at our Clinton, NJ practice today. You can contact us online or give us a call at (908) 200-7007.