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155 Park Road
Cheltenham VIC 3192

(03) 9584 4949

What Is A Dental Hygienist?

Posted on: March 19 2021

A Dental Hygienist is a Dental clinician whose focus is the prevention of dental diseases and educating patients on proper oral maintenance techniques to ensure healthy teeth and gums.  

They have undertaken a multi-year Tertiary studies University course and must be registered with the Australian Health Professional Regulation Authority (AHPRA).   They work in conjunction with a Dentist or a Dental Specialist to help the people achieve their optimum oral health.

What does a Dental Hygienist do?

The Dental Hygienist’s number one priority is the prevention of oral disease of both the gums and teeth.  They particularly focus on the assessment and treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.  Periodontal disease can be a serious gum infection that leads to permanent loss of bone and gum around teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss. 

Educating patients on proper oral hygiene techniques is an important focus for a Dental Hygienist, providing tailored, specific information and guidance to the individual on appropriate oral hygiene routines. This may include using different/specific types of toothbrushes, interdental brushes, floss or appropriate mouthrinses.

Other procedures performed by a Dental Hygienist include teeth whitening, giving local anaesthetic, x-rays, and Orthodontic treatment under the direction of a Dentist.

Why is it important to regularly see a Dental Hygienist?

Most dental diseases can be prevented.  Establishing regular visits with the Dental Hygienist, as well as seeing your Dentist, helps to prevent the build-up of plaque (the soft stuff) and calculus (the hard stuff) which if left untreated can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.  A hygienist will help ensure all plaque and calculus is removed, some of which often sits unreachable under the gums.  They will also educate an individual in how to care for their teeth and gums at home and provide advice on any products which may be of assistance.

At Park Road Dental, we have 2 highly experienced Hygienists in Liz and Shirani who have been with us for 12 and 10 years respectively and both also had numerous years of experience prior to joining us!

Taking care of your oral health will make all the difference to your overall health too. It is already widely known that poor dental hygiene can lead to cavities and gum disease, but there have also been links to certain cancers, heart disease and Diabetes. An ongoing commitment to practicing good dental hygiene is a simple step you can take to help prevent other health issues.

What you can do at home to improve your dental hygiene 

Good dental health starts at home by establishing a regular routine to brush and floss your teeth. It is highly recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day, and use either floss or another interdental cleaner once a day. Some people like to floss their teeth before bed so their mouth is clean before sleeping while others prefer to floss after lunch or a meal to stop plaque build up early in its steps. Flossing after you eat is a great way to release food that is trapped between your teeth or under your gums. Regular flossing helps to remove the layers of plaque which build along areas of the gumline that your regular toothbrush might struggle to reach when brushing your teeth. 

We like to recommend an electric toothbrush when it comes to your dental routine. Electric toothbrushes, particularly those with oscillating heads, can help to reduce gum recession and tooth decay, and in return also prevent disease such as gingivitis. 

Oral health is all about maintenance. Committing to the simple steps now can prevent the pain and stress associated with many oral diseases. At Park Road Dental, your dental health is our priority. Contact our friendly staff today by calling us on (03) 9584 4949 or by filling out our online contact form.