Dental hygienists are specially trained to work as part of the dental team, to give care to patients. They play an important part in dental health care and are mainly concerned with preventive dental health and treating gum disease - showing you correct home care and helping to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The hygienist's main work is to prevent and treat gum disease. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar and staining making your teeth and gums feel fresher and healthier. 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 which causes gum disease,tooth decay and can give you bad breath ( Halitosis).
Gum disease has also been shown to increase the risk of Heart attacks and Strokes and is a marker for Diabetes-people with poor blood sugar control get gum disease more often and more severely and they lose more teeth than people with good control. Gum Disease has been linked with problems in pregnancy, dementia and rheumatoid arthritis.
"The link between oral health and overall body health is well documented and backed by robust scientific evidence. Despite this, only one in six people realises that people with gum disease may have an increased risk of stroke or diabetes. And only one in three is aware of the heart disease link." Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It's mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. In some patients who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums and causes too much inflammation. In others, the inflammation doesn't clear up properly. The result of the intense gum inflammation is that it also affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.
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. You can use our direct access facility to see the Hygienist directly if you wish, please contact our reception team who can book you an appointment and give you further information about our Hygienist services and availability.
Taking care of your teeth & gums
Use small circular movements with the brush held at 45 degrees to the tooth. Move systematically around the mouth. Remember to clean the inside surfaces and the biting surfaces. Don't forget behind the top and bottom teeth. A good technique will take 2 minutes.
The TePe interdental brush is used to clean in between teeth. A choice of 8 colour-coded sizes is available to help clean different sized spaces. Turning the brush on insertion will help access. Used daily, it removes plaque and food debris where your usual brush cannot reach. For spaces at the back of the mouth, bend the brush in a slight curve but never at right angles this will help you access the more difficult-to-reach areas.