Happy National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. A celebration stressing the importance of dental care, the campaign also honors professional hygienists. Their inner strength, dedication and endurance over the past year and a half has earned recognition. After all, they treat patients while simultaneously combatting COVID-19. 

Dental Health Tips

Fresh breath, strong teeth, and clean gums contribute to oral health. Also, listen to dentists who recommend brushing and flossing every day, rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash, and getting regular checkups which include dental cleaning.

The Role of a Hygienist

Working to support the work of the in-house dentist, A dental hygienist prevents and treats oral conditions. Dental hygienists perform much of their work independently, with general supervision from a licensed dentist. Dental hygienists serve as an important part of a dentist-led team. Their work lightens the load borne by the dentist, freeing him up to perform advanced procedures. In most cases, dental hygienists perform preventive dental procedures in an office. 

These include:

  • Accomplishes all procedures within standard infection control protocols (including those procedures relative to COVID-19.)
  • Administers fluoride rinses
  • Administers local anti-infective agents per direction of dentist.
  • Administers nitrous oxide or local anesthetic as needed
  • Applies sealant
  • Cleans dental prostheses, fixed and removable.
  • Cleans teeth (removing tartar and plaque from pearly whites).
  • Counsels patients about the role of proper nutrition for optimal dental health
  • Educates patients about how to improve and maintain good oral health
  • Educates veterans on tobacco cessation, caries, and periodontal disease prevention.
  • Handles instruments safely, accurately, and efficiently.
  • Makes impressions or casts used for dental studies
  • Manages dental recall system, referring patients to the doctor for additional care when needed.
  • May assist dentist in operating room procedures. 
  • Monitors patient condition during and after procedures. 
  • Reviews medical history and consults with specialist as needed.
  • Screens patients for oral diseases
  • Sets up operatory for planned dental procedure and cleans dental unit for timely turnover.
  • Sharpens Instruments as needed.
  • Take dental radiographs (x-rays) of teeth and gums
  • Performs other tasks as assigned by the office manager or dentist

What a Dental Hygienist Does

The most significant difference between a dentist and a dental hygienist is that the hygienist screens patients so they can inform the dentist about areas of the mouth or teeth which could be problematic. They also often help dentists evaluate dental “pockets,” to determine the condition of periodontal disease. 

About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California

Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.