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Dental hygiene for a better life

Mon, 1st Jun 2020

If you are already a patient at the Gentle Touch, you will know that dental hygiene is a big focus for us. It’s all part of our management of gum disease which, for several years, has been founded on education and prevention.

Our thinking has recently been reinforced following a worldwide review of the classification and management of periodontal (gum) disease. This period of lockdown has given us the perfect opportunity to further refine the way we look after your gums. As a result, your dental hygiene appointments may feel a little different.

The science of gum disease – in a nutshell!

Gingivitis (gum swelling) and periodontal disease are caused by bacteria that collect at the gum line as dental plaque (biofilm). If not thoroughly cleaned, the gum starts to come away from the tooth, forming pockets and the plaque grows down under the gum. Over time, the body’s defenses over-react to this bacterial ‘invasion’ resulting in the supporting bone being destroyed, the gums shrinking, and eventually making the teeth wobble.

If we detect early warning signs, the aim is to disrupt and remove this bacterial biofilm (plaque) over time. This explains why home cleaning is so important, and why dental hygiene appointments help. Therefore, we want to take this opportunity to focus on this aspect of your care, as the lockdown measures are lifted.

The ‘new-look’ hygienist appointment

The initial appointment – no ‘scale and polish’*

*if you would prefer to still have a clean, your hygienist or dentist can still do a ‘hand scale,’ until Covid-restrictions are lifted – just let us know when we contact you to arrange your appointment.

Next hygiene appointment 3-6 months later

Next hygienist appointment 6-12 months later

If you have any questions about our management of gum disease, please do not hesitate to ask.

Those of you who are lucky enough to have healthy gums

Those with healthy gums do not need traditional hygiene treatments and so we are about to invest in the state-of-the-art AIRFLOW system. This is the ideal treat for healthy gums (and will replace the ‘scale and polish’). The air polish lifts plaque and staining in the gentlest way leaving your teeth feeling fresh and healthy. Due to COVID restrictions, we can’t offer this treatment straight away – we will be in touch soon if this is applicable to you.

Meet the hygiene team

Our wonderful dental therapist, Robyn, is on maternity leave following the birth of her son, Max. Max is six-months-old and is as cute as a button. Robyn is looking forward to seeing you all again on her return.

Clare joined the team in November 2019 and was originally covering Robyn’s maternity leave. We liked her so much, that we asked her to stay! Thankfully, she agreed and is looking forward to being able to care for you again.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Michelle Paxton. Michelle is a dental therapist, just like Robyn. Therefore, she will be supporting our practice hygiene care as well as carrying out other treatments.

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