What is a Dental Hygienist?
A Dental Hygienist is a trained and qualified Dental professional who works alongside the Dentist to look after your gum health and oral hygiene.
Why do I need to see a Dental Hygienist?
Within minutes of consuming any food or drink our mouth creates bacteria that covers our teeth with a thin layer of plaque. If not cleaned off effectively this plaque will multiply and harden forming calculus (sometimes referred to as tartar). This calculus can form above or below the gums and is the cause of Gingivitis (gum disease). It is gum disease, not decay that is the leading cause of tooth loss and a contributing factor to other health conditions such as heart disease. Gum disease is extremely common in the UK, affecting 3 out of 4 people. Young children can also develop gum disease so it is an issue that effects the whole family. Gum disease can sometimes have no symptoms so it is not always obvious you may be suffering from it.
Once calculus and plaque have formed it is impossible for you to clean this off yourself using your toothbrush and the bacteria will build and build with time causing irritation of your gums that can lead to inflammation, bleeding and sometimes pain.
A Dental Hygienist uses special equipment to remove this build up and bacteria, as well as removing superficial staining, they will help you to combat and manage any existing gum conditions and to prevent them worsening or returning in the future. The Dental Hygienist will also help you to learn how to clean your teeth more efficiently and give you the tools to reach all areas of the mouth and all surfaces of the teeth. You will also be given tooth and gum friendly diet advice and most importantly they will perform vital checks for oral cancers at each appointment.
What will happen at a Dental Hygienist appointment?
- In depth chat about your current oral hygiene routine (brushing, flossing etc)
- Diet advice and help
- Brushing and teeth cleaning instructions
- Ways to improve your at home daily oral hygiene routine
- Full and thorough check of your gums and of any gum disease present
- Full removal of plaque and tartar
- Education on gum disease and the cause, prevention and risks
- Stain removal
- Gentle and understanding staff and nurses
- Checks and advice for oral cancer