No Pink in the Sink: Oral Health Tips from Olympia Smiles Hygienist, Lilla

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While in the chair, Lilla makes sure to educate her patients about how to care for their teeth. Photo credit: Jessica Hoppe

There are many reasons why oral hygiene is important and why staying on top of routine dental cleanings is essential, whether they are scheduled every six months or every three months.

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Dental hygienist Lilla says keeping her patients comfortable is one of her top priorities. Photo credit: Jessica Hoppe

Meet Lilla, Olympia Smiles dental hygienist. With her warm and welcoming personality, gentle touch and bright smile, patients love interacting with her. Lilla was born and raised in Vancouver WA. She truly enjoys meeting new people and getting to know them as patients.

Olympia Smiles, along with Lilla, are committed to educating people about oral health. Their goal is to help keep dental treatment costs down for the community through education and preventative measures.

Oral health is very important to Lilla and she takes every opportunity to share her knowledge with patients.  Here are Lilla’s top six reasons to make oral health a priority:

Top six reasons to visit your Dentist and Hygienist:

  • Prevent gum disease – Gum disease can cause bleeding, painful gums, bad breath and loose teeth.
  • Whiter teeth – Who doesn’t love white teeth? Hygienists can help remove surface stains from coffee, tobacco, tea and even red wine.
  • Prevent other diseases – Poor oral health has been directly associated with complications of heart disease, respiratory issues and especially diabetes.
  • Prevent oral cancer – Hygienists are trained to screen for any abnormalities of the tissues in the mouth as well as around the head and neck area.
  • Stop bleeding gums – During a cleaning, hygienists can identify inflammation of the gums. “No pink in the sink” is a mantra for Lilla as bleeding is an early sign of gum disease.
  • Help improve self-esteem – A healthy mouth gives you clean, white teeth, healthy gums, no bad breath and the confidence to get the job you have always wanted.
Olympia Smiles, dental care
The employees at Olympia Smiles work together as a team, always willing to help each other out. Photo credit: Olympia Smiles

As a dental health professional with many years’ experience, Lilla has a wealth of knowledge to share with patients and her community. Not only does she have specialized training, but through her work with Dr. Lingam she has gained insights into a wide range of dental issues and their solutions.

Here, Lilla shares some of the most commonly asked questions she gets as a hygienist and their answers.                                            

Q: What is plaque?

A: Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing bacteria that accumulates on the teeth, including where toothbrushes can’t reach.

Q: Why should I floss?

A: Brushing cleans the tops and sides of your teeth, but flossing cleans in between them where the tooth brush cannot reach.

Q: How often should I floss?

A: You should floss at least two to three minutes at least once per day.

Q: What kind of floss should I use?

A: Un-waxed floss makes a squeaking sound to let you know when your teeth are clean while wax floss slides between teeth and fillings a little easier. So the answer would be, any floss that works for you is the right floss – as long as you are flossing daily! Children should start flossing as soon as they have two teeth that touch.

Q: Should I use a waterpik?

A: A waterpik, or irrigation device, should not be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing because it does not remove plaque. However, waterpiks can be used to remove food from areas around braces where a tooth brush can’t reach. For some patients with gum disease, a dentist may recommend a waterpik be added to your hygiene routine.

Tips for Dental Care with Young Children

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Even Olympia Smiles youngest patients are excited about their healthy smile. Photo credit: Jessica Hoppe

Many parents are unclear on proper dental protocols for taking care of their infant’s and children’s teeth and gums when they are very young. Lilla offers these suggestions:

  • Have your baby chew on a toothbrush with a rubber-type end as early as three to five months old (under supervision).
  • Keep a sticker chart on the bathroom mirror or wall to reward toddlers on a job well done.
  • Use an hour-glass style timer to keep kids focused on their brushing task for the allotted amount of time, typically two minutes.
  • Let children pick out a fun new toothbrush every 3 months to keep them motivated and excited to brush.
  • Help your child learn to floss with easy to grip flossers.

It is important to Lilla that she keeps her patients and the community informed every step of the way. Her top priority is making sure you are comfortable in her chair when you come to visit. She wants to ensure that at any moment during your visit, you can close your eyes and know exactly what is happening and what is next. No surprises.

During your cleaning, Lilla will review flossing techniques and ways to make sure your dental hygiene is on track. She will also ensure you are following a routine cleaning schedule that fits your oral health needs.

She, Dr. Lingam and the entire Olympia Smiles team want to ensure your teeth are happy and healthy. They invite you to meet the team at their November 3, 2017 open house from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Enjoy food, drink, a raffle and great prizes. Contact Jamee with questions at 360-528-4488.

Olympia Smiles offers a full range of dental services. Visit them on Facebook and online at www.olympiasmiles.com to learn more.

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