Dental Hygiene Information
Here at The Guild Practice we place great emphasis on the value of visiting our Dental Hygienists. Dental Hygienists are specially trained to work with the dentist to give care to patients.
They play an important part in dental health care and are principally concerned with gum health – instructing and demonstrating for you correct and appropriate home care routines helping you to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
What can I do to help the Hygienist?
You can do a great deal to help yourself as well as the Hygienist, as you are in control of your mouth 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 and/or floss.
There are many oral care products now available including specialist toothpastes, powered toothbrushes, and mouthwashes. Your hygienist will recommend those that are best for you.
We recommend you follow three simple steps to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste containing at least 1350ppm (parts per million) of fluoride.
- Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
- Visit your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend.
Cutting down on the frequency of your eating will help to keep your mouth healthy.
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 in turn cancels out the acid produced in your mouth after drinking and eating.
Can a Hygienist do anything else?
Dental Hygienists are now able to take dental x-rays. The dentist will use these to help diagnose problems and decide on the possible treatment. All hygienists that take x-rays will have had proper training and will hold a certificate.
If the dentist suggests that you have fissure sealants, they may refer you to the dental hygienist because this is one of the treatments they are trained to carry out.
Why is this treatment important?
Regular professional cleaning, combined with looking after your teeth and gums effectively at home, will help to keep your mouth healthy. A clean and healthy mouth will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you fresh breath.
Can a Hygienist help prevent dental diseases?
This is what the training of the Dental Hygienist is all about. Carefully removing the hard deposits of tartar (or ‘calculus’) that build up on the teeth and teaching you how to prevent them coming back, will go a long way towards slowing the progress of gum disease or periodontal disease as it is also known.
By talking to you about your diet, and recommending other preventive measures, the Dental Hygienist can help you keep to a routine that will slow down the rate at which your teeth decay. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy.
What other help can adults get?
Adults who have a lot of decay can benefit from having fluoride applied. They can also have anti-bacterial gels and solutions applied under the gum to kill the bacteria causing gum disease.Another very important part of the Dental Hygienist’s work is showing you and telling you how to look after your mouth at home. The Dental Hygienist will also suggest giving up smoking, as this will reduce staining. Research has shown that smokers have more gum disease and lose more teeth than non-smokers. Your hygienist will be able to advise you on various ways of giving up smoking.
What help is there for children?
Children can benefit from having their teeth polished. The Dental Hygienist can also apply fluoride gels and solutions to help prevent decay.
The permanent (or ‘adult’) back teeth can also benefit from having the biting surfaces sealed. This is done by applying a special plastic coating to the biting surface soon after the teeth come through. For more information ask one of us about Fissure Sealants.
Why doesn’t the Dentist do this treatment?
Some dentists will do this type of treatment. However, many now realise that the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out this role of scaling and polishing and can spend longer with you committed to this aspect of your dental care. They are also expert at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. Often the Dental Hygienist will spend a number of appointments getting the gums healthy ready for the dentist to restore the teeth with crowns and fillings.
Will the treatment hurt?
Scaling and polishing is not usually uncomfortable. However, if you do have any discomfort the hygienist can use anaesthetic creams, or give you some local anaesthetic. It is important that you let the hygienist know at the time so they can help with your discomfort.
What does the treatment cost?
Costs of treatment with a dental hygienist will vary depending on what is being done. For a routine session where full mouth scaling and polishing is undertaken this will cost £ 45.00
What is the Hygienist’s role in the practice?
The Dental Hygienist’s principal role is to professionally clean your teeth. This is usually called ‘scaling and polishing’. However, perhaps their most important role is showing our patients the most appropriate and efficient way to keep their teeth free from plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth. The Dental Hygienist will also give you good advice on your diet and the prevention of dental decay. The Dental Hygienists work closely with your dentist to give you care that is tailored to your individual needs.