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How often should I visit a dental hygienist?

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How often should I visit a dental hygienist?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
22 replies 33K views
ChazolateChazolate Forumite
167 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Health & Beauty MoneySaving
I decided a while ago to go to a private dentist, because I wanted to eventually find one that I would be comfortable having Invisalign with. The last visit I had with my NHS dentist I was told everything was fine. I visit the dentist every six months and on my first check-up I had quite a few fillings. On the second I had 2 more fillings and then I had to see the dental hygienist. I had never had my teeth scaled and polished before and I found it more painful than having a filling!

I have just been for my third check-up and I need another filling and they have booked me in with the hygienist again. I was wondering how necessary it is for me to get this done every six months? I have been searching for information online about it and some people say too much scaling and polishing is bad for your teeth. However others say that it is important to get it done every time you visit the dentist. Any advice on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!
M May11 55886.81
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Replies

  • ToothsmithToothsmith Forumite
    9.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Hygienist visits are less of a torture if you go regularly, and there is less stuff to clean off (So listen to what she's telling you about toothbrushing and interdental cleaning as well!! :D)

    Go as often as you are advised by the dentist/hygienist - they are the ones best placed to advise.
    How to find a dentist.
    1. Get recommendations from friends/family/neighbours/etc.
    2. Once you have a short-list, VISIT the practices - dont just phone. Go on the pretext of getting a Practice Leaflet.
    3. Assess the helpfulness of the staff and the level of the facilities.
    4. Only book initial appointment when you find a place you are happy with.
  • ChazolateChazolate Forumite
    167 posts
    Thanks for your response. I was just checking they weren't doing it to get more money. Also now I know it’s going to be a regular thing I can save money by taking out insurance.
    M May11 55886.81
  • Jokaty82Jokaty82 Forumite
    276 posts
    I can help you on this one - as I have had and finished my Invisalign Treatment.

    Whilst I agree that its important to go regularly to the hygienist, once my private dentist had me there and committed to the Invisalign treatment I did find they wanted me to see the hygienist far more regularly than I can afford - at £80 a pop. Eventually I kept saying I couldnt afford it at the moment, would re-book blah blah blah! But they threatened to stop treatment. Invisalign isnt cheap, I paid thousands!

    What I will say is with it you do need to look after your teeth so much more, regular brushing and flossing and going to the hygienist.

    I went to the dentist before and only ever had one filling, after my invisalign I had toothache and suddenly needed root canal, which cost a fortune and was so painful.

    The thing was it had only been a couple of months since I was last there, this root canal seemed to happen very quickly!

    I am sure they were trying to get as much money out of me as possible.

    I have since changed dentists, my last check-up he said all my teeth were fine, and that I cleaned them very well x
    Is a sufferer of SAD, so don't blame me, blame the depressing English weather!!!
    :beer:
  • I lived and worked most of my adult life abroad - while I regularly saw the dentist, where i lived there was no such thing as a hygenist. Once back in UK, my first visit to the hygenist she was rather shocked I was 30 and had never seen a hygenist before. For the first year and a half I saw her every 6 mos as I suppose she had catch up work to do. Now I go perhaps once a year though my hubby is asked to come in every 3 mos as he seems to have more of a problem than I do. They do know what they are doing and will only ask you to come in if they think it is necessary.
    No buying unnecessary toiletries 2014. Epiphany on 4/4/14 - went into shop to buy 2 items, walked out with 17!


  • brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
    4.6K posts
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    If you are regularly having fillings and needing hygienist visits then you will have even more trouble once you start brace work.

    Inadaquate oral hygiene is the number one reason why people are turned down for braces because it is even more difficult to keep gums and teeth healthy with a brace (even invisilign,inman type) than without.

    Look at your diet and cleaning and get through at least a couple of check ups without having a filling before you even think of braces.

    Every dentist will have seen people who have nice straight teeth after two years of brace work , but loads of cavities and white spots because the oral care has not been sufficient.
  • ChazolateChazolate Forumite
    167 posts
    Thank you both for the info! I was told that invisalign would improve my teeth as I would be brushing more than the usual twice a day. May I ask if you needed a retainer afterwards? I am told I will have to wear one at night, but I didn't get round to asking about the cost of that. I am trying to save up for Invisalign so I can pay for it in full. Were you happy with the outcome?
    M May11 55886.81
  • brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
    4.6K posts
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    See my post above, but be aware recent research shows that you may have to wear a retainer at nights for life to maintain results.

    For invisilign this is normally the last aligner so there is no extra charge unyil the aligner breaks or wears out.
  • edited 19 July 2010 at 9:57AM
    ChazolateChazolate Forumite
    167 posts
    edited 19 July 2010 at 9:57AM
    Hi. I am not sure what I am doing wrong my dentist suggested more fluoride. The hygienist didn’t speak to me about anything. I know that I am cleaning them enough perhaps I need to floss, because my diet is pretty good.
    M May11 55886.81
  • brook2jackbrook2jack Forumite
    4.6K posts
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    Diet will be a problem because you are having fillings regularly.Yes you have to floss but you need to change your diet.

    You will get decay if you have something sweet to eat or drink more than three times a day.

    What do you drink,do you have sugar in tea ,coffee,do you drink fruit juice,fruit teas?

    What do you eat between meals, do you eat/drink anything before bed at night?

    Are you on any medications that might give you a dry mouth?

    Do a diet sheet with everything you eat and drink for three normal days and discuss it with your dentist.

    Unless you get the decay under control braces will be a health nightmare.
  • So depressing to see someone who has cost the NHS thousands of pounds in orthodontic treatment (not you OP but the general population), who now needs fillings in their back teeth because they didn't clean the bands properly, has flaking off enamel because of demineralisation around the brackets because they couldn't stop eating sweets and drinking sugar. They look far worse than they would have done if they had had no braces at all and listened to the diet advice.
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