What is a dental hygienist?
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.
What can i do to help the hygienist?
The hygienist’s main work is to prevent and treat gum disease. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar (usually called a ‘scale and polish’ or a prophylaxis). 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. Hygienists also give advice about diet and about preventing tooth decay. The hygienist will work with your dentist to give you care that is tailored to your needs.
Can a hygienist help prevent gum disease?
This is what the training of the hygienist is all about. They will carefully remove the hard deposits of tartar (or ‘calculus’) that build up on the teeth and teach you how to prevent them coming back. This will do a lot to slow 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 tooth decay. Regular visits and advice will help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy.
What is a dental health educator?
A dental health educator (DHE) works closely alongside the hygienist and dentist to provide support to both adults and children to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Using demonstrations and educational tools the DHE can help patients to improve their oral hygiene and reduce decay in a friendly easy-going approach.