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Dental Hygiene in Minneapolis
Dental hygiene is a critical part of dentistry and the dental profession. It concerns itself mainly with the removal of accumulated bacteria in the mouth called plaque and tartar, which are the forms of bacteria that cause gum disease. Its practitioners are called hygienists.
First line of defense
We feel hygiene can be arguably called the first line of preventative defense against decay and gum disease. We feel this way because, if a person regularly and correctly brushes and flosses the teeth, and if he or she gets regular cleaning every six months, there is a greatly reduced chance that decay can start on a tooth, or that gum disease can start between the gums and the teeth. When the teeth surfaces are also protected by sealants, it is even less likely that the tooth can be harmed.
The first job of hygiene then is prevention.
Front line of attack
While a key job of hygiene is indeed prevention, its second key job is one of aggressive attack, as in the case of gum disease. Gum disease takes hold in the mouth because of the abundant presence of plaque and tartar which, when left alone, make the environment for this disease stronger and stronger in a repeating cycle. The hygienist removes the plaque and tartar using dental equipment in a procedure technically called "scaling and root planing", which we also call deep cleaning in this office.
In addition to the use of dental instruments to remove the causes of gum disease, the hygienist can also employ slow release antibiotics to fight against the resulting infection. We use the dental product Arestin in these instances.