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How Dental Hygiene Impacts Your Health

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For National Hygiene Month, we talked with Jacquelyn Smith about her role as the Hygiene Coordinator for Bellano Dental Health. We are dedicated to offering our patients the best and most up-to-date hygiene care, and Jacquelyn helps us do that!

  • What does your role entail?

I help develop our in-office hygiene protocols and standards of care for each and every patient across our three offices, ensuring that they all get the highest level of care.

  • Do patients really need to see the dentist twice a year?

At a minimum! Visiting twice a year allows us to keep your mouth’s bacteria level low - lower than can be achieved with at-home care alone. These routine visits also allow us to catch things early before they develop into larger issues involving pain, swelling, and other discomfort.

Our hygienists use tools that reach areas your toothbrush and floss simply cannot. We can reach below the gumline to clean out bad bacteria, and are also able to remove hard, built up tartar.

These visits involve much more than cleaning your teeth. The oral exam checks your gum health, level of oral care, signs of oral cancer, and provides preventative care. Your mouth can show signs of other health issues, sometimes before you’ve recognized them elsewhere.

  • What else can you see in an oral exam?

We look for changes in gum tissues, which can help diagnose things like diabetes. If we notice more decay than usual, we’ll talk with you about your diet and nutrition habits. Changes in the color of tissues can also be indicative of vitamin or iron deficiencies. The onset of mouth ulcers may be a sign you ought to talk to your doctor about autoimmune diseases.

Beyond signaling other issues in the body, your oral health can also impact your overall health. Poor dental health increases the risk of bacterial infection in the bloodstream, which can impact your heart. Poor oral hygiene can also impact the health of an unborn child, including their birth weight, so don’t skip a cleaning while pregnant!

  • What can I expect from a routine dental appointment?

For patients who are new to our office or simply haven’t seen us for a while, we’ll do a full comprehensive exam of teeth, gums, and the entire oral cavity. We will take a full set of x-rays, check gum health, and our dentists will perform an oral cancer screening. Most importantly, we will also spend time getting to know our patients and their expectations for the health of their mouth. Our hygienists do a very thorough job!

  • What should I change in my at-home care?
  1. Floss properly (or start flossing if you don’t already).
  2. Don’t just brush your teeth - brush the gumline too. Place a soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums and gently massage each tooth to brush away bacteria even below the gumline.
  3. Pay attention to changes in your mouth - new sensitivities, feelings, or textures and report them to your oral health professional

We’re here to help get your hygiene back on track. If you have more questions for our team or are ready to make an appointment, visit bellanodental.com/appointment


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