Dental hygiene: a brighter, whiter and healthier smile

Written by: Dr Asif Chatoo
Published:
Edited by: Laura Burgess

Unusually for an orthodontic clinic, the London Lingual Orthodontic Clinic employs a hygienist and offers all its patients the opportunity to have dental hygiene appointments whilst they are in treatment. Lead clinician Dr Asif Chatoo explains the benefits of dental hygiene as well as the risks of over the counter or online whitening kits.

Why do you offer dental hygiene appointments?

I strongly believe that orthodontics should be a route to a healthier smile. However, keeping your teeth clean is indisputably more challenging when you have braces. We all need to keep our teeth free from plaque, the sticky film which contains destructive bacteria, which, over time, causes decay.

When you wear aligners, plaque can build up on your teeth while they are inside the trays. Fixed braces trap food and are also conducive to a build-up of plaque. Cleaning around the brackets and wires isn’t straightforward. All in all, it’s important to be extra vigilant when you are in treatment.

I employ a dental hygienist for the convenience of our patients. If you are in fixed braces you can organise a joint appointment with me and the hygienist, Gosia. You will see me first and I will remove the wires so that, Gosia, our hygienist, can provide you with a thorough clean. At the end of the session with Gosia, you come back to me to fix the new wires.
 

How often should I have my teeth cleaned?

I recommend a professional clean with a dental hygienist every three months as well as a careful home routine, twice a day at least.
 

Does dental cleaning hurt?

By and large, a hygiene appointment is not painful, but some patients can find the experience uncomfortable. Everyone has a different threshold but all our patients who opt for dental hygiene consider it worthwhile. Our hygienist Gosia is very gentle!
 

How much does a teeth clean cost?

The cost of a dental hygiene appointment here is £105. This includes a prophy jet clean which is a very thorough clean leaving your teeth with a sparkling sensation.
 

Is it bad to get your teeth whitened? Are teeth whitening kits safe?

If you are considering teeth whitening, it’s highly recommended you get the opinion of a dentist first. I have a dental qualification in addition to the four years of postgraduate orthodontic training. Very occasionally I advise patients against tooth-whitening as it’s not appropriate for everyone. However, for most people, it’s a completely safe and popular cosmetic option and we are happy to provide it here. We advise against over the counter or online kits as well as seeking treatment in a beauty salon.
 

What makes professional teeth whitening better than at home remedies?

There are two important aspects to professional tooth whitening. A dental professional – a dentist or hygienist working under the supervision of a dentist -is trained to provide teeth whitening and has access to good quality products. If you do not see a dental professional, you could be putting yourself at risk. The General Dental Council, the regulator of dentistry in the UK, has produced a lot of information on the topic of whitening. In essence, tooth-whitening is the practice of dentistry and you should have appropriate dental training in order to provide the treatment.

Our aim for all our patients is that they finish their treatment with teeth which aren’t just straighter, but healthier in every way. We would recommend that patients have their teeth whitening with us or at their dental practice.

 

Do not hesitate to book an appointment for a dental clean now. 

By Dr Asif Chatoo
Dentistry

Dr Asif Chatoo is a leading specialist in orthodontics and founder of The London Lingual Orthodontic Clinic in the UK capital. His areas of expertise lie in lingual braces, sleep apnoea, Invisalign, functional appliances and braces. Dr Chatoo is a pioneer of lingual braces and digital dentistry. His philosophy is to treat his patients as he would want his family to be treated.This has led him to provide an extended service for patients so that care is all-embracing and seamless. This includes dental hygiene services and partnerships with a speech therapist, a highly qualified skin specialist, an aesthetic dentist and a nutritionist.

Dr Chatoo graduated as a dentist from King's College London in 1993. After gaining years of experience in general practice, he received his Masters in Orthodontics from the GKT Dental Institute, London. He further trained in lingual techniques in Paris and due to his expert knowledge on this, is regularly invited to speak international meetings around the world.

Dr Chatoo has spoken internationally on the topic of lingual braces and digital orthodontics, including at Harvard. He is a regular speaker at the meetings of the European Society of Lingual Orthodontics and closer to home at meetings of the British Association of Cosmetic Dentistry and the British Orthodontic Conference. He also offers courses to specialist orthodontists who want to learn from him. 

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