Roseacre Dental Practice Kent
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Man flossing his teeth before dental hygienist appointment at Maidstone, Kent

18th January 2021

What Does A Dental Hygienist Do?

We’ve all heard of the dentist – but not many of us have heard of the dental hygienist, and in fact, those that have assume they don’t play as important a role as other dental professionals do in maintaining the health and appearance of your smile. So, what does a hygienist do to your teeth?

In reality, dental hygienists are extremely important in caring for your mouth, teeth and to repair gums. There’s a variety of ways they can help you get the best out of your smile and ensure it stays happy and healthy. Here’s a breakdown of what a dental hygienist does for your teeth. 

1. Scale & polish

The area most related to the dental hygienist role is the traditional scale & polish, where we use powerful, expert dental equipment to clean your teeth of plaque and tartar (a hardened form of plaque). It can also help lift stains and freshen your breath at the same time, leaving you feeling happy, healthy, confident and fresh!

2. X-rays

There are occasions where your dental hygienist may need to take an X-ray of your teeth, such as to check the positioning of an incoming wisdom tooth, or to see if there are signs of decay that can’t be assessed through looking at your smile alone. These are perfectly safe to carry out and totally painless. You may even get to have a look for yourself!

woman at dental hygienist appointment in maidstone, kent

3. Prevention

A huge element of care from a dental hygienist is to ensure your mouth is healthy, including the teeth and gums. Whether it’s identifying oral cancer early, or ensuring you’re on track with brushing and flossing to prevent decay, there are lots they can do to help protect and care for your smile. 


There are a number of treatments dental hygienists can help with, including:

Pain, sensitivity or swelling

In non-emergency cases, this could be an indication of decay. Again, X-rays can help identify the problem. 

Sore, red or bleeding gums

Often indicators of gum disease. If caught early, it can be treated. Gums should be healthy and pink, not red and sensitive, and it’s important to treat them before it develops into periodontitis (which can cause tooth loss and recession of both the gum and underlying bone).

Spots on the teeth

Usually signs of decay, which your dental hygienist can help with during your scale & polish treatment. 

Dull, discoloured teeth

Your dental hygienist may be able to carry out teeth whitening, subject to a consultation. This can help lift your smile by several shades and restore that bright, sparkling and youthful quality to the smile. 

5. Help & advice

Your dental hygienist can talk to you about ways to manage your smile, whether the best brand of toothpaste to try (such as whitening or sensitive) or a technique for managing a tricky spot. They can also demonstrate how to use dental products such as interdental brushes or dental tape. Read here for more information on if you need to see a dental hygienist.

Book your dental hygiene appointment today

Whether you want a check-up, a treatment, or simply some advice, get in touch with our dental hygienists today here in Maidstone and we’ll arrange an appointment at a time to suit you, or take a look at some other posts of ours helping you take care of your smile – for life.