Dental Hygiene & Whitening
Our Dental Hygienists provide professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar, combined with giving advice on how to best look after your teeth and gums properly at home to keep your mouth clean and healthy, which will improve your appearance, help you to keep your teeth and give you fresh breath.
Hygienists are trained to carefully remove the hard deposits of tartar (or ‘calculus’) that build up on the teeth and teach you how to prevent them coming back, which is beneficial to help slow the progress of gum disease.
The hygienist may discuss your diet, recommend products, cleaning aids and other preventive measures, which will help you keep to a routine that slows down tooth decay. You will be advised to attend regularly to maintain your oral health and to help build your confidence in keeping your mouth healthy.
We have three hygienists at our practice who all see patients directly, under the prescription of a dentist, or can see them independently.
Some dentists will do this type of work themselves, however, the hygienist has been specially trained to carry out scaling and polishing, and will spend longer with you to ensure they are healthy, in preparation for if the dentist needs to restore them with either crowns or fillings.
Your hygiene visit will generally be pain free, but if you do experience some 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.
Teeth whitening is also often carried out by the dental hygienist, under a prescription from your dentist.
Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look by removing stains and discolouration. It is a form of dentistry therefore should only be performed by a dentist or another regulated dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or dental therapist, on the prescription of a dentist. It is illegal for beauty salons to offer teeth whitening, unless there is a dental professional present as it may put your oral health at risk.
Teeth whitening generally lasts from a few months to up to three years, but this will vary if you smoke or drink red wine, tea or coffee, which tend to stain the teeth. Whitening will not work on ceramic or porcelain crowns and veneers.
The most common reasons for yellow or stained teeth are:
- Drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine.
- Poor oral hygiene.
- Aging – The tooth enamel gets thinner and the dentin becomes darker so your teeth are less bright.
- Intrinsic stains – within the tooth caused by: Exposure to too much fluoride as a child whilst teeth are developing, Tetracycline antibiotics or trauma to a tooth.
Intrinsic stains are harder to remove, but due to the latest advanced dental products available at our practice, it may be possible to achieve impressive lightening results.
Another type of teeth whitening system that we provide is called laser whitening. This is where a bleaching product is painted onto your teeth and then a light or laser is shone on them to activate the whitening. Laser whitening takes about an hour.