A Dental Hygienist is a specially trained professional that works as part of the dental team, to give care to patients.
They play a hugely important role in a dental health care regime. Mainly concerned with preventive dental health and treating gum disease, visiting your dental hygienist can help you learn the correct home care for your teeth. This will ensure that you can keep both your teeth and your gums healthy.
Your hygienist’s main job is to prevent and treat gum disease, which is surprisingly common. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar – a procedure called a ‘scale and polish’ or a ‘prophylaxis’.
With this said, their most important role is probably showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque in the first place…
What is Plaque?
Plaque is a kind of sticky coating that forms continually 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 care that is tailored to your needs.
Regular professional cleaning from a Private Dentist to remove plaque and tartar, combined with looking after your teeth and gums properly at home, will help keep your mouth healthy. A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you fresh breath.
How else can your Dental Hygienist help?
Lots! Dental hygienists can also place fissure sealants, apply fluoride varnishes and administer fluoride treatments. Other procedures may be carried out by dental hygienists depending on the laws that apply where they work. Things like Teeth Whitening is also often carried out by the dental hygienist, under a prescription from your dentist.
Where do you do to see a Dental Hygienist?
Not all practices have a hygienist, but most Private Dentist practices will. However, more of them now offer this as part of the service to patients. Hygienists see patients directly, under the prescription of a dentist, or can see them independently. If your practice does not have a hygienist, your dentist can refer you to either another dental practice or to a hygienist practice.