The Best Kept Secret: The Hygiene Visit

emoticon pillowsUnlike so many Hallmark holidays, National Dental Hygiene Month just doesn’t get much recognition. That’s a shame considering that your biologically trained dental hygienist is instrumental in helping you achieve your overall health and wellness goals.

To be clear, we’re not just talking oral health – or systemic health, for that matter – but whole body health.

The science is robust: Oral infections in the mouth caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even parasites are associated with heart disease and stroke, diabetes, respiratory diseases, osteoporosis, preterm low birth weight babies, cancers, and more.

And they are all too common. According to the CDC, nearly half of adults over 30 have some form of periodontal (gum) disease – and it’s more common with age. Over 70% of seniors have it – along with 56.4% of women, 65.4% of those living below the poverty level, 66.9% of those with less than a high school education, and 64.2% of current smokers.

If your goal is wellness, those grim statistics should make your next dental exam and cleaning absolutely imperative!. For a hygiene visit is more than “just a cleaning.” It’s about prevention.

An Introduction to Your Mouth

Goal number one is introducing you to your mouth. First, we’ll want to know if you have any concerns, Then as we examine and clean your teeth, we’ll take note of

  • Any signs of inflammation.
  • Pockets.
  • Lesions.
  • Scalloped edges on your tongue.
  • Tooth wear.
  • Failed restorations.
  • Fractures.

Education

If a hygiene visit is to be a supportive component of your overall health and wellness program, you should know what our findings mean for you.

From periodically checking your saliva pH to evaluating a live sample of the microorganisms in your mouth under a microscope; from screening for oral cancer to offering nutritional support and guidance, we’re here to help you achieve the level of health you desire.

Whether you have healthy teeth and gums or some level of gum disease, we can offer tips and recommendations based on your individual situation and goals.

Hygiene

Our exam gives us the information needed to develop the plan that’s best for you. The one-hour, two-times a year cleaning is typically designed for the patient who has good oral hygiene habits. If you have periodontal disease, you may have a different recommendation. Each recommendation is designed to appropriately meet your oral care needs.

You’re in Control

If you’ve been putting your oral care on the backburner, let October’s National Dental Hygiene Month serve as a great reminder about just how important oral care is to your overall wellness.

Of course, for any therapy to be effective, you first have to make the decision to show up. We’ll take it from there, and who knows? Eventually you might even want to send your hygienist a Hallmark card.

Image by wewiorka_wagner

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