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dental hygiene leaflet
Girl Brushing Dad's Teeth

Why should you make a hygiene appointment?

Proper dental hygiene is essential for a healthy mouth and general wellbeing. Did you know that plaque needs to be removed from the mouth consistently twice a year? If left uncleansed for more than six months it begins to harden into tartar, which eats into the tooth enamel and infects the gums.

1. Why I need to see Hygienist ?

You might be wondering why your dentist recommends seeing a dental hygienist twice a year. The reason this is absolutely necessary is because plaque needs to be removed from the mouth consistently twice a year. If left uncleaned for more than six months it begins to harden into tartar, which eats into the tooth enamel and infects the gums. It is the dental hygienist’s role to help you keep up with the removal of this plaque so that you can maintain a healthy mouth.


2. What is a hygienist?

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 mainly concerned with gum health – showing people correct home care and helping to keep the teeth and gums healthy


3. Why is this treatment important?

Regular professional cleaning combined with looking after your teeth and gums well 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 a fresh breath.


4. Can a hygienist help prevent dental disease?

This is what the training of the 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. 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 the rate at which your teeth decay. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy.

5. Why doesn’t the dentist do this work?

Some dentists will do this type of work. However, many now realise that the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out scaling and polishing and can spend longer with you. They are also expert at teaching you how to look after your teeth and gums. Often the hygienist will spend a number of appointments getting the gums healthy ready for the dentist to restore the teeth with crowns and fillings.


6. Will the treatment hurt?

Scaling and polishing is usually pain free. However, if you do have any discomfort the hygienist can use anesthetic creams, or give you some local anesthetic. It is important that you let the hygienist know at the time so they can help with your pain.


7. Is the treatment expensive?

Costs of treatment with a dental hygienist will vary depending on what is being done. Generally appointment takes 25 min to 30 minutes and cost £75.00 Practices should have a price list at their reception giving a guide to the prices they charge for the service.


8. What is the hygienist’s role in the practice?

The hygienist’s main work is to professionally clean the patient’s teeth. This is usually called ‘scaling and polishing’. However, perhaps their most important role is showing people the best way to keep their teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a sticky coating that forms constantly on your teeth. They also give advice on diet and preventing dental decay. The hygienist will work with your dentist to give you care that is tailored to your needs.

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