5 Common Dental Questions a Hygienist Hears

We love answering your questions!

Our dental hygienists are an asset to the Ellensburg Dental team. They help our patients feel comfortable during their treatments, deliver quality care, and get to know them on a personal level. Thus, we’re sharing the five most common questions our dental hygienists hear, and their responses.

5 Common Questions a Dental Hygeniest Hears

If you’ve ever wondered what type of toothpaste to use or why your gums itch, you’re not alone. Many of the patients we see have similar questions about their dental health. These questions are great, and we’d like to share some of them with you so you can be better informed about your overall oral health too!


Why are my teeth sensitive?

If your teeth hurt when exposed to hot or cold temperatures (such as food and beverages), you might have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can occur for a variety of reasons and may be a sign of an underlying condition. For example, you might have a cavity or be brushing too hard and irritating your gums. These are things that your dental hygienist and dentist will be able to determine. The good news is there are a few ways you can combat tooth sensitivity at home, including buying a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

How can I get whiter teeth?

Many patients wonder how they can enhance the appearance of their smile. Depending on their individual needs, Ellensburg Dental offers professional teeth whitening that can dramatically brighten your smile. We also offer porcelain veneers that can even out the look of your smile.

What kind of toothpaste should I use?

You should choose a toothpaste that can help you the most for your individual mouth. For example, if you are very prone to tooth decay, we recommend that you use a toothpaste with sodium fluoride (an anti-cavity ingredient) to help prevent rapid decay. If you are prone to rapid plaque buildup or tartar, we recommend a tartar control toothpaste. Your dentist or hygienist can help you find the toothpaste with a property that will be most beneficial to you.

Why do my gums bleed or itch?

Bleeding or itchy gums may result from inadequate brushing or flossing. When the bacteria on and in between your teeth is not removed with proper daily oral hygiene habits, it can settle under your gums and lead to inflammation.

However, sometimes patients’ mouths are simply more prone to bacteria buildup because they have restorations like fillings, crowns or bridges that attract bacterial plaques due to their nature. Poorly-contoured restorations and crowded or tilted teeth make it harder to clean your teeth, resulting in bacterial build-ups. Patients with chronic inflammation and increased pocketing under their gums offer bacteria a place to hide. This is why it’s so important to get your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year because your dentist and hygienist can remove this bacteria buildup and take preventative measures against infection.


Why do I have calculus and tartar buildup?

Even if you brush and floss daily, there’s still potential for calculus and tartar buildup. Calculus is hardened plaque made from a combination of protein materials in our mouth such as saliva. There is a large salivary gland under the tongue, and if your saliva contains high levels of minerals, it can compound into tartar and calculus faster. This is why some patients have buildup of calculus along the backside of the anterior (front) teeth.

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