Who 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.


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.