Dental Hygiene

The ins and outs of dental hygiene

Having direct access dental hygiene Stevenage is possibly the most important element in keeping up healthy teeth and gums. It may not only be the cure for a multitude of dental sins, but can also be a really important part of preventive care. If you visit us at Smilecraft for your dental check-up and your dentist recommends you see the hygienist it can of course feel a little worrying, but we want to reassure all our patients that a trip to the hygienist is a very normal, common part of your oral care. However, if you’re still worried here’s all you need to know about  dental hygiene appointments.

The role of a hygienist

A dental hygienist works slightly differently to your dentist, they undergo specialist training surrounding the upkeep and care of teeth and gums. They are trained to recognise the signs of decay and gum disease, and specialise in restoring health to the mouth through deep cleaning, known as scaling and polishing. Once they’ve worked through any in-chair treatments with you, they will discuss with you why your teeth and gums have declined in health and discuss best practices with you to fully restore and keep up your dental hygiene.

Direct access dental hygiene Stevenage

When you come and visit the practice you will be greeted by one of the team before meeting the hygienist. During the appointment you will undergo a full health examination of all your teeth and gums. When this is happening it’s very common for the hygienist to call out various numbers, this is just them indicating to the dental nurse what condition your teeth are in and is nothing to worry about.

After they’ve established the condition of your teeth they will work around the whole mouth performing a deep clean that involves a deep descale of plaque and tartar build-up. Once they’ve cleaned the teeth they will give them a good polish to give them back their shine.

They then talk you through all the ways they think you can improve your oral hygiene routine. This may include changing your brushing technique to a more circular motion or taking up the use of dental floss, which although sometimes annoying and time consuming, can make a serious difference to the health of your gums. They could recommend the use of interdental brushes, which should be used alongside flossing to remove food debris and early build of plaque.

Benefits of dental hygiene appointments

As mentioned, one of the biggest benefits of having direct access dental hygiene Stevenage is that it can be a really big help when it comes to looking after your teeth and gums, guarding against gum disease and tooth decay, the two leading causes of tooth loss.

If you are someone who has issues with bad breath, it’s amazing how much just one quick trip to the hygienist can help this, leaving you with minty fresh breath. Finally, if you’re feeling like your teeth are looking dull and tired, but you aren’t ready to opt for a teeth whitening treatment, having a scale and polish with the hygienist could give your smile back that natural shine.

Why dental hygienists matter

Dental hygiene in Stevenage may not seem like it but it is probably the most effective aspect of dentistry we have when it comes to saving teeth!

Dental hygienists may not be associated with much more and scale and polish. But again that is to do a disservice to the scale and polish. The short answer is that prevention is far better than cure. Cavities, gum disease and all of the treatments that are associated with it all start with a biofilm. A biofilm is an accumulation of bacteria; once they form, they cling to each other but also to the enamel. This collection of microbes, given enough time, form the thick milky layer that we refer to as plaque. But there’s not a lot that can be done about the tiny biofilms that form during the day, but as they become thicker and as noticeable as plaque, it is best to disrupt them with regular bruising.

Given enough time, they will calcify into tartar; this mineralized form of plaque is an excellent jumping off point for bacteria who will go on to form cavities in the enamel or attack local gum tissue. Tartar acts as a secure location beyond the reach of the immune system where the bacteria can rally in great numbers.

Once tartar has formed, there is no practical method of removing it at home. Some lightening toothpastes and bleaching gels have claimed to remove tartar, but what they actually do is stain it white making it less noticeable.

Scale and polish

The scale and polish is the most effective method of removing tartar and therefore it prevents the conditions stemming from its build up. This dental hygiene in Stevenage is carried out using a sonic scraper to dislodge areas of larger tartar build-up; for more precise areas, a dental drill can be used. This would be particularly helpful in between teeth or at the gum line.

The scale and polish is completed with a set of rotary brushes and polishing tools, leaving a smooth surface to the enamel which bacteria find difficult to adhere to, slowing down the time it takes for biofilms to develop on a tooth surface.This reduces the need for future scale and polishes assuming regular brushing continues.

Oral hygiene education

With younger patients, prevention is far more about education than any form of intervention; their temporary teeth don’t require scale and polishing. Monitoring the establishment of adult teeth and recording dental alignment is far more important, as well as establishing the habits that will prevent dental treatment in the future. This includes the fundamentals of brushing technique and the effects of acid erosion caused by soda consumption. We also encourage younger patients to report any toothaches they have to their parents as and when required.

If you have any questions about dental hygiene in Stevenage, please feel free to get in contact with our clinic. We would be happy to hear from you. If you leave your query with a contact number we will be happy to get back to you if you call outside of our operating hours.

Explore our Direct Access Dental Hygiene treatment benefits

For patients who wish to keep their natural teeth for life, our advice to them is quite simple – make regular appointments to see our dental hygienist. Our dental hygienist at Smilecraft is a dedicated dental health professional with many years of real-world experience in a varied range of treatments integral to keeping teeth and gums healthy and great smiles happy.


At our dental clinic, we are proud to offer a patient-centric approach to dental care, and a part of this philosophy is to ensure we offer a convenient service to our patients. Towards this aim, patients can access dental hygiene treatments with a qualified dental hygienist without needing a prescription from a dentist thanks to our registration for the Direct Access Dental Hygiene Stevenage initiative.

The Direct Access Dental Hygiene Stevenage allows dental hygienists to carry out a number of dental hygiene treatments (preventive and cosmetic) without the need to see a dentist first. We believe that through Direct Access Dental Hygiene Stevenage our patients are able to access quality dental hygiene services at their convenience.

Why should you see a dental hygienist? We take a look at some of the key treatments carried out by dental hygienists to maintain a healthy mouth.

The role of a dental hygienist, in patient oral health

Patients can benefit in a number of ways from an appointment with a dental hygienist to ensure the oral health of their mouth and keep their ability to smile confidently. Dental hygienists are specially trained to prevent tooth decay and gum diseases and can offer the following quality services:

  • Removal of resistant plaque and tartar
  • Gum treatment for gum disease
    • (Provided it is within their scope of practice)
  • Application of tooth-protective treatments
    • (Sealants, fluoride gels, etc.)
  • Treatment for bad breath

In addition to the above, a dental hygienist offers another vitally important service – that of dispensing instruction and advice on how to best protect teeth and gum health. Our hygienist can offer best practice tips and techniques on toothbrush instruction and flossing as well as the most suitable dental products to use. This guidance and advice is most valued to take care of teeth and keep them clean in between dental visits.

Seeing that one’s diet has a direct link to oral health, our hygienist can also offer advice on a tooth-friendly diet and effective ways on how to limit excessive sugar consumption.

A dental hygienist can help patients understand the cause of their dental issue or disease better and empower them to take better care of their oral health. Please feel free to speak to our highly knowledgeable dental hygienist about your dental goals so we can guide you on how to achieve them.

The best way to avoid all the dreaded dental treatments and procedures, like root canal procedures and extractions, is to see a dental hygienist for regular deep dental cleanings and gum inspection.

Get to know more about our dental hygiene services by getting in touch with our friendly reception staff at Smilecraft who will be happy to assist you in making an appointment.

How to stay on top of your dental hygiene in Stevenage

Many individuals may be aware of the importance of dental hygiene, however they may not be taking care of their teeth adequately in the comfort of their own home. Unfortunately despite patients brushing for two minutes (and twice daily) plaque and tartar can still accumulate on the surface of the teeth. At our dental clinic within Stevenage we suggest you visit our surgery every six months for a ‘dental check-up’. During this appointment we may run through several standard procedures (such as providing an oral assessment) as well as giving you educational advice on how to clean your teeth correctly at home.


Preventing the onset of oral diseases and infections..

It could be considered as common knowledge within the field of modern dentistry that your diet has a direct affect on the health of your mouth. The consumption of highly sugary food and drink (such as sweets and fizzy drinks) causes bacteria on the surface of the teeth, which can unfortunately lead to oral diseases and infections (such as gum disease, for example). As well as highly sugary foods, highly pigmented food and drink (such as coffee, red wine, and curry) may also cause discolouration of the teeth.

Did you know?

In addition to altering your diet, certain lifestyle factors (such as the consumption of alcohol and frequent smoking) may also cause yellowing of the teeth.

How can we help you maintain your dental hygiene in Stevenage?

At our dental clinic within Stevenage we have heaps of experience working within the field of dental hygiene. Our dental healthcare professionals have completed the necessary graduate dental training and vocational experience to deliver your dental hygiene treatments. Our skilled dental team recommends you visit our clinic frequently to stay on top of your oral health, which may include receiving certain dental procedures (such as a scale and polish).

What is a scale and polish?

If you are experiencing a significant amount of plaque and tartar buildup on the surface of the teeth (which can unfortunately be caused by poor dental hygiene in Stevenage) then our team may suggest you receive a scale and polish. A scale and polish is an extremely common treatment within the field of dental hygiene and can be completed within a few short minutes!

How does it work?

Many of our patients may receive scale and polishes frequently within their bi-annual check-up, however they may be unsure of the exact treatment process. Our team will use a combination of pastes and brushes to remove the build up on the surface of the teeth, in addition to this we may also advise you on how to maintain your clean teeth through the use of interdental brushes.

Feeling anxious?

If you are feeling nervous regarding a trip to your local dental clinic this could hinder your dental hygiene. Many of our anxious patients may delay their dental hygiene appointment (or even miss it altogether) and we aim to prevent this from happening! If you are feeling worried then feel free to give our friendly dental team a call. Our dentists can answer any queries or concerns you may hold prior to your scheduled appointment at our clinic.

Direct Access and why you should see a dental hygienist

Sometimes having to wait until your next check-up before you can see the hygienist is having to wait too long. Perhaps you have an important occasion coming up, or you have started dating, or you have restorations in your mouth that feel like they are building up a thick layer of plaque. At times like this, it’s nice to be able to see the hygienist for a scale and polish, even if you aren’t due an appointment for quite a while.

Dental Hygienist in Stevenage

Did you know that since 2013, it’s possible to see the hygienist without having to see the dentist first? The General Dental Council changed the rules for hygienists, having decided that patient safety would not be put at risk if they got their teeth cleaned without first having a check-up.

It makes sense to allow people direct access to the hygienist because having plaque professionally removed can only improve your oral health.

Plaque, that layer of sticky bacteria that builds up on your teeth between brushings, is responsible for tooth decay and gum disease. It gives off acids that corrode tooth enamel, creating the holes through which decay and infection can enter.

Acids from plaque also attack the gums, inflaming and irritating them, causing them to become red and to bleed. As gum disease advances, the gums pull away from the teeth and then plaque can get underneath them and start corroding tooth roots, which have no enamel to protect them, and also the bone around the teeth.

Left untreated, both decay and gum disease lead to tooth loss, often via painful infection.

Help with removing plaque and tartar

Even if you carry out your diligent twice-daily brushing and daily flossing to remove plaque and tartar, there are bound to be some nooks and crannies that you can’t get at. Plaque in those places hardens into tartar, a chalky substance that won’t respond to brushing, but still gives off acids, right onto your teeth and gums.

The only way to get rid of this is to see the dental hygienist here at Smilecraft in Stevenage. So, come on in whenever you feel the need for a scale and polish.

War of the worlds inside your mouth

Believe it or not over 700 different types bacteria have been detected in human mouths. Although the number in any one mouth is likely to be less than 72, it’s still a bit of a shock to find out we have a whole microbiotic world co-existing within us. Although most do no harm and are part of our natural biology, others directly attack our mouth, gums and teeth. The health of our teeth and gums is highly important if we want to lead a full, happy life without the fear of missing, decayed or stained teeth that spoil our smile and comprise the food we can eat, its therefore important that we maintain good oral health.

Dental Hygiene in StevenageIn Stevenage, dental hygiene appointments play a vital role in this battle of the mini worlds by keeping in check the little monsters that want to eat your teeth. At your dental hygiene appointment your dentist will remove any plaque build-up and give your teeth a thorough descale and polish.

We are here to support you

At Smilecraft, our dentists can support your ongoing oral health by providing tips and information on how to take care of your teeth and gums. We can help you improve your brushing and flossing technique to ensure cleaning your teeth and gums effectively.

Prevention is better than any cure, by following our advice and visiting us regularly you can ensure any red flags or issues with your teeth and gums can be treated quickly before it develops into a more serious condition. If you have dentures, bridges, crowns or implants you’ll also have specific oral health requirements which our dental hygienists can address and they can also provide you with ongoing support and information.

Setting all the family up for good oral hygiene

Our dentists encourage you to bring in your children for regular check-ups. Studies have shown that having positive dental experiences at a young age sets up a routine that will last a lifetime.

If you’d like to book a check-up and start the war on bacteria, ring our reception and they can book an appointment for you today.

Direct Access and why you should see a dental hygienist in Stevenage

Hygiene visits are an important part of the maintenance of our teeth and gums. While only a dentist can spot the early signs of gum disease and tooth decay, a dental hygienist is perfectly qualified to remove the plaque and tartar build-up that leads to decay and disease.

Here at Smilecraft in Stevenage, patients can make hygiene appointments without a referral from a dentist. This is known as direct access. This service was created in 2013, though even now, five years later, we find many of our patients still don’t know they can book a hygiene appointment whenever they want.

Dental Hygienist in StevenageWhy see a dental hygienist?

There are many benefits from having regular hygiene appointments. At your six-monthly check-up, your dentist will recommend that you also have a scale and polish – which means removing plaque and tartar build-up. This is because no matter how diligently we brush, floss and mouth wash, unseen plaque builds up, hardening into tartar over time, which can then lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Only dental equipment can remove this build up, so it is vital to have this preventive work done regularly.

Hygienists can also advise on brushing techniques and the use of interdental brushes, so you can have the most effective oral healthcare routine possible.

They can also offer advice on nutrition for oral health, ways to combat bad breath and sensitive teeth and information on how to stop smoking.

And if you have a dental structure such as a dental implant, bridge, denture or crown, our hygienist can give you special tips on how to keep it, and the surrounding teeth, clean and healthy.

Keep your smile shining

So, as well as coming in for a hygiene appointment when recommended by your dentist, you can book in for a scale and polish without a referral, great for shining up your pearly whites before a special occasion, or simply keeping them in tip top condition.

Particular patient groups such as those with diabetes or heart disease and pregnant women may need to see a hygienist more often than every six months. Check in with your dentist for more information.

How to maintain a good dental hygiene

Proper dental care is a vital part of keeping your teeth healthy. In addition to regular brushing and flossing at home, it is very important to visit your dentist regularly to get check-ups and professional cleanings. Your dentist will also examine your teeth thoroughly and look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease is the most common oral hygiene-related condition, affecting 75% of all adults in the UK to some degree or another.

Dental Hygiene in StevenageAt Smilecraft, we believe that regular dental check-ups and cleanings can make all the difference to smiling for a lifetime. For this reason, we provide a variety of services to prevent dental diseases from counselling to scaling and polishing. Our dentists are here to help you take good care of your teeth and gums.

Visiting the dental hygienist

Visiting the dentist and the dental hygienist regularly is the best way of maintaining good oral health. The main role of our dental hygienists is to prevent any serious problems from occurring. For this reason, they will scale and polish your teeth and also show you the best way to remove plaque at home.

During a scale and polish procedure, your hygienist will remove plaque from your teeth and beneath your gum line. Some patients may require a deeper scaling, which includes cleaning the roots of their teeth. Each patient’s mouth is unique and your dentist will tailor a treatment plan to suit your personal needs.

Your dental hygienist will also provide information on how diet and nutrition affects your mouth. For instance, you will be advised to stay away from sugary and acidic foods, in order to help prevent dental decay and erosion. Your dental hygienist will also show you the best techniques to brush and floss your teeth at home.

Patients with greater risk of decay can benefit from fluoride treatments. Other gels and solutions can also be placed on the teeth and gums to help with sensitivity and bacteria under the gum. Finally, your dental hygienist will advise you on the negative effects of smoking on your oral health and show you the best ways to quit smoking.