Dental Hygiene


As well as regular check-ups with our dentist, routine visits to the dental hygienist are an important part of ensuring your teeth and gums are kept in top condition. Keeping your mouth healthy will not only give you a great smile, but will also have beneficial knock-on effects for your general health.

Our hygienist will begin by making a thorough assessment of the health of your teeth and gums and gently removing any built-up plaque and tartar on and around the teeth and below the gum line that can’t always be removed by brushing and flossing. Plaque and tartar, if left unchecked, can cause significant health problems associated with tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease and diabetes, so there’s more at stake than just your oral health.

Our experienced dental hygienist will give your teeth the very best deep clean, but is also available to advise you on every aspect of your oral health and to make any dietary recommendations that might help. They can also provide advice for patients with severe gum problems, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, and for those who have had extensive reconstructive work such as implants.

Finally, they will show you how to maintain your clean and healthy teeth with an effective brushing and flossing home oral healthcare regimen. Depending on your individual oral health needs, you will be given a recommendation for how often to visit the hygienist, with twice annually being an average.

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FAQs

Dental hygienists have an important part to play in dental health care and are mainly concerned with preventive dental health and treating gum disease. They show you how to take care of your mouth at home and help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Adopting the advice of a dental hygienist is the best way to prevent needing more complex dental treatment

A dental therapist carries out routine dental work. This usually takes place in the dental practice but many also provide treatment in a range of places in the community, such as schools and care homes.

Oral health education is a key part of a dental therapist’s role, which also includes:

  • Clinical examinations, scaling and polishing teeth.
  • Stop smoking advice and further care and treatment plans.
  • Taking impressions and carry out restoration work on baby and adult teeth.
  • Mouth cancer screenings.

As well as the above duties, dental therapists would be effective treating those with dental anxiety, existing medical conditions, physical or learning disabilities, or high levels of untreated decay.

Gum disease is described as swelling, soreness or infection of the tissues supporting the teeth. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Gingivitis means ‘inflammation of the gums’. This is when the gums around the teeth become very red and swollen. Often the swollen gums bleed when they are brushed during cleaning.

Long-standing gingivitis can turn into periodontal disease. There are a number of types of periodontal disease and they all affect the tissues supporting the teeth. As the disease gets worse the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw is lost, making the teeth loose. If this is not treated, the teeth may eventually fall out.

If plaque is not removed by brushing, it can harden into something called ‘calculus’ – another name for it is ‘tartar’. As calculus forms near the gumline, the plaque underneath releases harmful poisons causing the gums to become irritated and inflamed.

The gums start to pull away from the teeth and the gaps become infected. If gum disease is not treated promptly, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed, and healthy teeth can become loose and fall out. Severe gum disease can lead to teeth falling out and needing to be replaced.

Gum disease is generally painless, even though it damages the bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease (gingivitis) will usually show itself as red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush or clean between your teeth. Many people are worried when they notice their gums are bleeding and then brush more gently, or stop altogether.

In fact, it is important that you continue to clean regularly and thoroughly if you are to fight the gum disease. If the bleeding does not go away within a few days see your dental team to ask for their advice.

It is important to remove plaque and bits of food from around your teeth as this will stop your gums from becoming inflamed and swollen, and becoming infected. If you leave plaque on your teeth it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by the dental team. It is important to keep up your regular appointments so that your teeth can have a thorough cleaning if they need it.

Smoking can also make gum disease worse. People who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums don’t heal. Smoking causes people to have more plaque and the gum disease to get worse more quickly than in non-smokers. Gum disease is still a major cause of tooth loss in adults.

The first thing to do is visit your dental team for a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums. They will measure the ‘cuff’ of gum around each tooth to see if there is any sign that periodontal disease has started.  X-rays may also be needed to see the amount of bone that has been lost. This assessment is very important, so the correct treatment can be prescribed for you.

Your dental team will remove all plaque and tartar from your teeth. You will also be shown how to remove plaque successfully yourself, cleaning all the surfaces of your teeth thoroughly and effectively. This may take a number of sessions with the dental team. A good oral care routine at home with brushing and interdental cleaning is the most important thing you can do to help prevent gum disease getting worse.

Once your teeth are clean, your dental team may need to treat the roots of the teeth to make sure that the last pockets of bacteria are removed. This is called ‘root planing’. You’ll probably need the treatment area to be numbed before anything is done. Afterwards, you may feel some discomfort for up to 48 hours.

There is no cure for periodontal disease, but it can be controlled as long as you keep up the home care you have been taught. Any further loss of bone will be very slow and it may stop altogether. However, you must make sure you remove plaque every day, and go for regular check-ups by the dental team.

In recent years gum disease has been linked with general health conditions such as diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease, poor pregnancy outcomes and even dementia. More research is needed to understand how these links work but there is more and more evidence that having a healthy mouth and gums can help improve your general health and reduce the costs of medical treatment.

Staff always friendly and professional and I have absolute faith in Michelle, the Hygienist, and Matthew, my Dentist.

My daughter has received thorough and professional treatment at Evergreen Dental Surgery.

I would highly recommend Evergreen Dentistry. I find my Dentist to be very professional.

My family have been with this surgery for years and have received nothing but the best of care. I would recommend this dentist in a heartbeat!

I have been a patient at Evergreen for many years and have been totally satisfied with both the service I have received and the treatment given. So satisfied, that when I moved away from the area, I chose to make the journey to remain with the practice.

Top notch service, and they openly give you options on how to proceed with dental care, i.e. for me, choices on whether to have braces or not. They give their opinions but ultimately let you decide, with the appropriate amount of information. Would recommend!

I’ve been a patient at this practice for over 25 years and I’ve never had any reason to complain . Even when I moved miles away years ago, I still attended as I was happy with the service provided. Now with the restructuring of management etc, I am more than impressed with the service. Matthew and Michelle have excellent standards and advice, warm and welcoming too. Hannah, also has the same approach. I would recommend Evergreen Dentistry to anyone and I am thankful for their care.

We visited the orthodontist in this practice through an NHS referral from our usual dentist for my son. He is a very nervous 8-year-old and despite this being an assessment appointment only, I was very impressed with the way he was involved. The lovely dentist that saw us and their assistant made my son feel at ease and took their time to explain clearly what was going to happen. Really good service despite not being our usual dentist.

I am really happy with the treatment I received, the new filling looks natural – you can’t even tell there is a filling there, and it has also lasted. The staff were friendly and professional and the service I received was really good.

The treatment was excellent – my daughter has a perfect smile. I would highly recommend the dentist to my friends and family. Very good service throughout the treatment.