The main job of a dental hygienist is to give you the advice and ability to maintain healthily teeth and gums at home.
Plaque and tartar build up on the teeth when brushing and flossing has not removed all the bacteria. Plaque is a film of bacteria which forms on the surface of the teeth and gums every day. When plaque remains on the teeth for a long period of time, it can harden. and this is then known as calculus (or ‘tartar’).
The hygienist will remove these build ups to allow you to clean your teeth effectively. The presence of plaque and calculus can cause gum disease, resulting in bleeding and swollen gums. This in turn can lead to receding gums and loss of the bone support around the teeth, which can result in tooth loss.
As well as the hygienist showing you the best way to keep your teeth free of plaque, you will also get advice on smoking and other habits that can make the problem worse. The hygienist works very closely with dentists to ensure your dental health is taken care of.