Dental Hygiene

Good oral hygiene and oral health is important to prevent long-term dental problems. Regular dental hygiene visits help to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and any advanced restorative dentistry such as dental implants. By keeping the supporting structure of the teeth as healthy as possible, then it will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Good oral hygiene and oral health is important to prevent long-term dental problems. Regular dental hygiene visits help to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and any advanced restorative dentistry such as dental implants. By keeping the supporting structure of the teeth as healthy as possible, then it will help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental hygienist treatment will improve your oral health and is one of the most important ways of preventing long-tern dental problems. Your treatment will include:

  • Stain removal and polishing
  • Removal of calculus and plaque
  • Ultrasonic and hand scaling
  • Bespoke oral hygiene instruction
  • Dietary advice and decay prevention
  • De-sensitising treatment
  • Advice on acids and tooth erosion

The dental hygienist treatment is always tailored to your individual needs – the hygienist follows a treatment plan arranged by your dentist. Treatment can range from basic oral hygiene instruction and tartar removal, to more advanced gum (periodontal) treatment for active gum disease, which aims to reduce bone loss and hence prevent subsequent tooth loss. We recommend regular hygiene appointments to maintain optimum oral health.

Dental hygiene treatments include:

  • Scale and polish - ultrasonic and hand scaling
  • Deep cleaning with or without local anaesthetic to treat/prevent periodontal disease
  • Smokers stain removal and teeth whitening - including airflow teeth polishing
  • Dental implant maintenance

Frequently asked questions...

Do I have to be a patient at the practice to book a hygienist appointment?

No, patients are now able to be treated by a dental hygienist without the referral of a dentist. These ‘direct access’ patients can simply call to book a hygienist appointment.

What causes gum (periodontal) disease?

It is caused by bacteria in the mouth forming plaque on the teeth. If this is not removed by brushing then it can harden to form stubborn tartar. This can cause red, bleeding and swollen gums. This gum inflammation is called gingivitis. Long-standing gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease which affects the tissues supporting the teeth, and ultimately if left untreated can result in tooth loss due to a loss of bone around the teeth.

Who gets gum disease?

Most adults will experience some sort of gum disease at least once, but it is less common in children. Factors that make you more susceptible include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Other illnesses and treatments, including HIV and cancer treatment
  • Certain medications, especially those that limit saliva flow/output
  • Genetic predisposition

How is gum disease treated?

A good oral care routine at home is important in both preventing and treating gum disease. Your dentist and hygienist will discuss an appropriate treatment plan to treat the gum disease. This will include an assessment of oral hygiene status, bespoke oral hygiene instruction, and where necessary regular recording of the periodontal pocket depths and bleeding sites before and after treatment.

Initially the plaque and tartar deposits will need to be removed from the teeth, and any periodontal pockets that have formed around the affected teeth will need to be cleaned and the bacteria removed. This also includes scaling and root planning. Sometimes teeth and the surrounding gums tissue will need to be numbed with local anaesthetic.

There is no cure for gum disease and regular monitoring and maintenance appointments with the dentist and hygienist are required to keep the disease under control.

How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy?

Aside from routine dental examinations and hygiene appointments, there are number of important ways to maintain healthy gums and teeth:

  • Brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Use an electric toothbrush
  • Twice daily cleaning with interdental products, including interdental brushes, floss or tape
  • Not smoking
  • Eat a well-balanced diet - particularly limiting snacking episodes, sugar intake and acidic food and drinks