When you visit your family dentist for your twice-annual cleaning, your hygienist will often give you some feedback about how your teeth and gums look compared to the last time you visited. Hearing that things are better or about the same may be satisfying to some people, but if you consider yourself to be a numbers person, you might want more data. There's no harm in asking your dental hygienist if she can help you to better understand your dental health with the help of numbers. Here are some answers that she can give.
If your gums bled heavily during your last dental cleaning, your hygienist will understandably be concerned. She'll likely have encouraged you to floss, and you'll hopefully have listened to this advice. When you visit again, ask for her to assign a number to your bleeding. For example, she might say that your gums bled about 60 percent less this time than last time. This request isn't silly — many dental hygienists will actually use numbers of this kind to assess your progress from visit to visit, and will be happy to pass the data along to you.
Periodontal Pocket Depth
It's common for dental hygienists to measure your periodontal pockets and assign each of them a value based on how deep they are in millimeters. This depth fluctuates from visit to visit and is directly related to how well you've been caring for your teeth. The better that you brush, floss, and stay away from sugary foods, the lower this number will be. Don't be afraid to ask your dental hygienist to give you some data about your periodontal pockets. For example, she might state that several of the teeth that measured a concerning five are now at about a three, which is a positive sign.
Thickness Of Calculus
If your tartar has hardened to the point that it's now plaque — which many dental professionals refer to as "calculus" — your hygienist will definitely want to see improvement during each dental visit. You can ask her to give you some numbers that describe how effectively you've kept calculus at bay. For example, if you had a lot of calculus during your last visit, your hygienist may give it a number, such as eight out of 10. If you've been diligent about your brushing and flossing, the hygienist may rate your calculus during this visit as a one or a two, which shows signs of significant improvement in your dental care.
For more information, reach out to family dentistry services near you.