Dental Hygiene

Little boy with his father in bathroom cleaning teeth with dental floss. Both looking in mirror and brushing teeth.

Hygiene care keeps your mouth, teeth and gums in the pink

Hygiene therapy is a vital service here at Brucegate Dental Practice. Dentists treat disease but hygienists will help you prevent it. Healthy gums promote healthier teeth and without healthy gums, cosmetic and other treatments to restore your mouth's function or enhance your smile, are not possible.

Regular professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, combined with looking after your teeth and gums properly 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 fresh breath.

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Our Dental Hygienists

Lorraine and Ruth will play a key role in your dental health journey, providing you with vital preventive care and working with you to help you learn more about your mouth and dental health, and how to care for your mouth and its unique issues between visits to our practice.

With advances in modern dentistry, our hygienists complement the treatments offered by our dentists to help you to keep more of your own natural teeth for longer.

Ruth Cooper & Lorraine Glasgow

Frequently Asked Questions

Gum disease (or periodontal disease) is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the teeth. The dentist will check your mouth for signs of gum disease at your routine examination. However, there are certain things you may notice yourself:

What are the signs of gum disease?
  • Bleeding gums that may be tender
  • Gums that appear swollen or red
  • Bad breath

This may progress onto periodontal disease if left untreated. This is a more serious disease that can lead to tooth loss.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?
  • Bleeding tender gums that may have puss forming between the teeth
  • Pain on biting
  • Bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth
  • Gums that look red and swollen and teeth that may look longer as the gums shrink
  • Teeth starting to move or feel wobbly
How do I prevent gum disease?

You can prevent gum disease by removing the soft creamy plaque from your teeth and gums. on a daily basis. Regular tooth brushing, flossing and using other hygiene aids and mouthwash can reduce the bacteria, which cause gum disease.

A healthy diet and stopping smoking can also help as smoking can cause the bone tissue in the mouth to shrink, leading to tooth loss.

What is a dental hygienist and what do they do?

Dental hygienists work as providers of dental healthcare. They work as part of a dental team, mainly concerned with preventing dental disease and treating gum disease. This includes professionally cleaning your teeth by removing plaque and tartar. However, perhaps their most important role is showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque. Plaque is a soft 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 care that is tailored to your needs.

Can a hygienist help prevent dental disease?

Yes. 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.

Another very important part of the hygienist's work is showing and telling you how to look after your mouth at home. The hygienist may also suggest giving up smoking, as this will reduce staining and improve your general health. Research has also shown that smokers have more disease and lose more teeth than non-smokers. Your hygienist will be able to advise you on various ways of giving up smoking. Please follow the link if you would like help to stop smoking.

They can also give you special advice for home care if you have dental implants or orthodontic appliances.

Can I have my teeth cleaned without seeing the dentist?

Yes. Since 2013 the General Dental Council has permitted patients to access the services of dental hygienists. Previously, a dentist had to see a patient prior to prescribing hygiene treatment. This is no longer the case, meaning that if you want your teeth professionally cleaned and polished with the hygienist, you can simply give us a call to make an appointment directly with the hygienist of your choice.

Visits to a hygienist can help prevent gum disease and improve the appearance to your teeth. However, they are not a substitute for dental examinations with a dentist.

What if I want to stay with my current dentist?

If you are already registered with a dentist whether private or NHS, you can stay with them and just visit us for hygiene appointments. This will not affect your place at another practice.

What to expect at your first visit

If you would like to visit our hygienists, we will need to see you for at least 30 minutes initially to check your medical history, dental history and carry out an assessment of your gum health. We will then be able to clean your teeth and recommend how often this should be done. To make an appointment call us on 01289 306084.

Will the treatment hurt?

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

Lorraine's Tips For Healthy Teeth