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  • Writer's pictureSheen Dental

What is the role of a dental hygienist? Read on for a brief guide from Sheen Dental

Have you attended a dental check-up to be told you need to see a hygiene specialist?

If you are like most dental patients, you may be confused as to what a dental hygiene practitioner can do to improve your oral health and how they differ from a regular dentist.

At Sheen Dental, we are exceedingly proud to be able to offer our patients access to our onsite hygienist Richmond. An important member of our dental team, they are responsible for ensuring that issues like gum disease don’t develop while also assisting in the treatment plan of periodontal conditions if needed.

So, what else does our hygienist Richmond do? Read on to find out!

What is a dental hygiene practitioner?

In short, our hygienist Richmond is tasked and trained to prevent gum disease and the build-up of plaque on the teeth and gums.

In many instances, they see patients who have stubborn plaque and tartar and will remove this using a scale and polish leaving teeth feeling clean and fresh.

On average, we will recommend that all of our patients see our hygiene practitioner a minimum of once a year, just to keep their teeth and gums in top-notch condition. If you are wearing fitted braces or have a history of gum disease, we may recommend that you visit them biannually, in a similar way to regular dental check-ups.

Aren’t they just like a regular dentist?

No, they aren’t.

A regular dentist specialises in performing treatments, like fillings, tooth restorations, braces, root canals and monitoring your oral health in general.

A hygiene specialist will actively remove plaque from above and below the gum line in order to prevent cavities from forming in a procedure known as a scale and polish. They are committed to keeping teeth and gums as clean as possible.They also assist in treatment plans relating to gum disease, braces and the application of preventive medications such as fluoride sealants.

I read that children see them when they wear braces - is this true?

Yes, this is true.

As is the way with fitted braces, food can become stuck on the brackets. Depending on the age of the child, this can be tough to remove by themselves and is a key reason why we recommend assisting with your child's dental regime if they wear a fitted brace.

Our hygiene practitioner will typically see a child who wears braces once every 6- 8 weeks to remove plaque and to assess if their teeth are being looked after adequately.

Can they make my teeth whiter?

Yes, they can!

Our dental hygiene practitioner can help you to get a whiter, healthier-looking smile by performing a procedure known as a scale and polish. This removes deeply set stains in your teeth while also removing stubborn plaque; the end result is a white smile which is also much healthier.

Also, our hygiene practitioner can advise you preventively on which whitening toothpaste brands to use and which mouthwashes can help you to maintain a whiter smile too. But, should you want to have your teeth professionally whitened, you will need to talk to our regular dental team.

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