What is the dental hygienist's role in the practice?
'Dental hygienists are mainly concerned with ‘preventive’ dental health and treating gum disease – showing you correct home care and helping you to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar...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 dental team to give you the care that is tailored to your needs.'
Can a hygienist help prevent dental 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.'
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