Colchester Dental Referral Centre
841 The Crescent
Colchester Business Park
Tel: 01206 756 813
Fax: 01206 854 767
For all your enquiries
About the dental hygienist
A dental hygienist is specially trained to give advice and treatment to help prevent tooth decay and treatment for periodontal disease (gum disease). Here at Colchester Dental Referral Centre, your hygienist will work alongside your dentist to care for all areas of your oral health.
A dental hygienist gives advice on oral hygiene and shows you the best ways to care for your teeth at home to keep them free from plague and calculus (see below). They also give dietary advice to help prevent tooth decay and support to help you give up smoking, which will reduce tooth staining and slow down gum disease.
Dental hygienists also monitor and screen patients who are diabetic or pregnant, as these groups are more susceptible to periodontal disease.
The hygienist role’s at CDRC
At CDRC, our hygienists work alongside our periodontist and other referring dental practitioners. Each patient has a specific and detailed treatment plan, so our hygienists can provide advice and treatments tailored to your needs. They are skilled communicators who are trained to motivate and encourage patients with complex or advanced periodontal disease to help themselves by changing their oral hygiene habits.
Your dentist may refer you to CDRC if they feel you could benefit from the specialist advice and treatment that our hygienists provide, which may not be available at your own practice. We accept hygienist referrals for patients who attend dental practices in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridge and London.
Your hygienist appointment
When you visit the hygienist, they will:
- discuss your general oral health and how oral hygiene fits in with the rest of your treatment plan at CDRC
- check your gums and teeth for problem signs such as receding gums or tooth wear
- show you how to care for your teeth and gums by using a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque
- show you how to clean in between your teeth with floss, tape or interdental brushes
- give you advice on the types of toothbrush, toothpaste and other cleaning aids, such as mouthwashes, that are best suited to your needs
- remove any calculus or stains by scaling your teeth, and then polishing them.
Frequently asked questions about dental hygiene
Q. What are plaque and calculus?
A. Plaque is a thin, sticky film which contains bacteria and sticks to teeth. For about 48 hours, it is soft enough to be removed with a tooth brush but it then starts to harden and become calculus (tartar). This is more difficult to remove.
Q. Why is it important to remove plaque and calculus?
A. It is important to remove plaque and calculus as they irritate the gums. This can lead to gum disease and, eventually, tooth loss.
Q. What are the signs of periodontal disease (gum disease)?
A. The key signs to look out for are inflamed, bleeding, red or sore gums; bad breath; and loose teeth. Find out more about gum disease and treatment for periodontal disease.
Q. How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy at home?
A. You can help maintain a healthy mouth by:
1. Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
2. Cleaning in between your teeth as directed daily.
3. Cutting down how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
4. Visiting your dentist and hygienist regularly.
You could also try chewing sugar free gum after meals, which can help prevent decay. Chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva, which cancels out the acid that your mouth produces after eating and drinking.
With good oral hygiene habits, you will need less treatment in the long term and are less likely to need urgent treatment, such as an emergency root canal. Any restorations such as fillings and dental implants procedures are more likely to last.
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Last updated: 1/5/2018 at 14:20 GMT