What are dental hygienists?
Dental hygienists are specially trained to work with the dental team to give care to patients and can help with your treatment plan. They play an important part in dental health care.
What is the dental hygienist’s role in the practice?
Dental hygienists are mainly concerned with ‘preventive’ dental health and treating gum disease – showing you correct home care and helping you to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar (usually called a ‘scale and polish’ or a prophylaxis). However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth. Hygienists also give advice about diet and about preventing tooth decay. The hygienist will work with your dental team to give you the care that is tailored to your needs.
Can a dental hygienist do anything else?
Dental hygienists also take dental x-rays. The dentist will use these to help diagnose problems and decide on the possible treatment. Dental hygienists can also place fissure sealants, apply fluoride varnishes and administer fluoride treatments. Other procedures may be carried out by dental hygienists is teeth whitening on the prescription of your dentist.
Does every practice have a hygienist?
Not all practices have a hygienist. However, more of them now offer this as part of the service to patients. They can see patients under the prescription of a dentist, see them as part of a separate treatment plan or can see them independently as part of direct access.
Can a hygienist help prevent dental disease?
This is what the training of the hygienist is all about. They will carefully remove the hard deposits of tartar (or ‘calculus’) that build up on the teeth and teach you how to prevent them coming back. This will do a lot to slow the progress of gum disease.
By talking to you about your diet, and recommending other preventive measures, the hygienist can help you keep to a routine that will slow down tooth decay. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy.
What does the dental hygienist do in the practice?
You can do a lot to help yourself and the hygienist, as you are the one who looks after your mouth in between visits to the practice. Your hygienist will have shown you how to remove plaque with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
They will also have shown you how to clean between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes, floss or tape.
There are many oral care products you can get, including specialist toothpastes, electric or ‘power’ toothbrushes, and mouthwashes. Your hygienist will recommend those that are best for you.
We recommend that you follow three simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste and an electric toothbrush.
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
- Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.
Cutting down the amount of sugar in your diet, and the number of times that you eat during the day, can help to reduce decay. Your hygienist can help you by looking at your decay problem and your diet, and by making some recommendations for you to consider.
Chewing sugar-free gum for 10 minutes after meals can also help to prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva, which cancels out the acid produced in your mouth after drinking and eating.
Learn More About Our Services
At Brentwood CJ Dental Studio we offer a wide range of dental hygiene services. From general cleanings to root canal treatments, we will help keep your mouth healthy. Book Online or Contact us to find out how we can help keep your mouth healthy