I love the fall! It’s the time of year where nature wows us with its most beautiful display of colour as well as its bountiful harvest. As I sit down to think about what I am thankful for this year, I go through my usual checklist. Family, friends, my health and nature are consistently at the top of my list. This year I also think about what I have to be thankful for professionally. I work in a modern dental practice with a great group of friendly and professional staff. I am a Registered Dental Hygienist and this is also the time of year where I renew my License to Practice. In Alberta, dental hygienists are required to be members of the College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta (CRDHA) as well as the Canadian Dental Hygiene Association (CDHA). Our college is the professional body responsible for the registration and annual professional certification of all dental hygienists in Alberta. I make sure that my yearly CPR recertification is complete, add up the hours I have worked this year (I need to work a minimum of 600 practice hours in a three year period). I also make sure I have submitted my continuing education credits to meet the requirements (minimum 45 hours in a three year period). Each year I attend lectures, conferences, take online courses and even bring in educators to our dental office to learn about the newest dental products. As a dental hygienist I pride myself on educating patients about their oral health.
My favourite educational session this past year was learning about the waterpik waterflosser. I have found myself recommending this useful tool to many patients over the last while for many different uses. Waterflossers are very helpful to remove bacteria and debris and therefore improve the health of your gums. They have a water reservoir that you fill with each use. They clean the teeth and gums with a combination of water pressure and pulsation. There are counter top and portable models. I find them quite useful for a lot of patients but especially those who require more attention around certain areas. People with braces, dental implants, misaligned teeth or gum disease can benefit from their use. I find that patients quite enjoy using them once they start. To view an instructive video on how they work see the website at waterpik.com.
Another tool that I often recommend for patients is a power toothbrush. I like the Oral-B Powerbrush, their most recent model is the Genius. The small round head is ideal for reaching hard to access areas. It pulses and vibrates so you simply have to place the head along the tooth and gumline and slowly move it to clean all areas on the tooth and gumline. Most Oral-B models have a pressure sensor that will tell you if you are pressing too hard as well as a two minute timer to ensure you have spent enough time cleaning your mouth. They have brush heads that are soft or extra soft and offer attachments for braces or for along the gumline. As with your regular toothbrush, the head should be changed every 3 months or after you have been ill.
It can be overwhelming when you see the assortment of dental products displayed at the store or in advertisements but dental hygienists are here to help you. Please make an appointment to see one of our Registered Dental Hygienists at Affinity Dental Sherwood Park. We can assess and educate you about your oral health and help find tools and techniques that will assist you in meeting your oral health goals.