Dental hygiene

About dental hygiene

With more adult teeth being lost through gum disease rather than tooth decay, regular dental hygiene treatment is essential to keeping your gums and teeth healthy. Regular visits to a hygienist combined with dental check-ups and looking after your teeth and gums at home will greatly improve the appearance of your teeth and your oral health.

Bupa Dental Care offers a range of hygienist services including scale and polish treatments, preventative fluoride applications, AIR-FLOW therapy, and cosmetic, stain-removing brightening treatments.

What happens at a hygienist appointment?

Hygienists offer a professional teeth cleaning service, a process called scaling and polishing. During the appointment your hygienist will carry out an initial dental hygiene examination. They will then:

  • Scale your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar build-up in those areas brushing cannot reach
  • Perform a clean and polish to remove any superficial stains on your teeth
  • Offer tailored advice on how to maintain good dental health and demonstrate techniques you can use at home

Your hygienist will also provide advice about diet and preventing tooth decay. They can spot signs of gum disease and will refer you to a dentist or periodontist if they see anything that needs further treatment.

How often should I visit a hygienist?

It may be recommended by your dentist that you visit the hygienist regularly. The frequency of visits will be determined by your clinical needs but also by your own personal desire to have your teeth cleaned and polished regularly.

Your dentist may also recommend that you see a hygienist for a thorough clean before beginning a complex dental treatment such as dental implants.

"Protect against gum disease and tooth decay - visit your hygienist regularly. They’ll give you a deep clean to keep on top of your oral hygiene."

What are the benefits of visiting a hygienist?

Good oral hygiene is vital in eliminating gum disease and decay, which can eventually lead to tooth loss. Regular visits to a dental hygienist will ensure that hidden and difficult-to-reach plaque and tartar is removed from your teeth removing rough surfaces which contribute to build up of bacterial numbers, and improving the health of your teeth and gums.

Hygienists can also help you maintain brighter, whiter teeth. Scaling and polishing, as well as AIR-FLOW therapy and cosmetic treatments can remove surface stains, leaving you with a fresher, brighter smile.

Your hygienist can also provide advice on diet and how to care for your teeth and gums properly at home.

Top tips for brushing your teeth

Make sure you remember these key steps and hints every time you brush your teeth, to keep your smile happy and healthy.

  • Don’t forget to floss or use an interdental brush before you brush your teeth
  • Don’t wet your toothbrush before you apply toothpaste
  • Two is the magic number. Brush for two minutes, twice a day
  • Brush in circular motions with a manual toothbrush. If you use an electric toothbrush, let the brush do the work
  • Avoid brushing backwards and forwards
  • Make sure you brush every tooth
  • Brush your tongue to get rid of bacteria and bad breath
  • Don’t rinse your mouth after brushing- it’ll wash away the fluoride

If you have children, it’s important to instil good brushing habits at an early age so that dental problems can be prevented early on.

What is AIR-FLOW therapy?

AIRFLOW is a fast-working1 stain removal treatment that deep cleans your gums. The AIRFLOW method uses a wand to deep clean and polish your teeth with a combination of water, compressed air and fine powder particles. It uses air-water micro-burst technology to reach nooks and crannies that traditional scaling simple can't. The effects of the treatment will depend on your lifestyle. If you enjoy coffee and red wine, you can expect stains to return quicker. A good oral hygiene routine and regular trips to the dentist will help maintain the results.

AIRFLOW is different from teeth whitening because whitening chemically lightens the teeth by several shades, whereas AIRFLOW is a non-chemical treatment that instantly removes the surface stains but does not lighten the base colour of the teeth. Your teeth will still appear cleaner and brighter with AIRFLOW as it returns them to their natural whiteness. It can even be used before teeth whitening treatments to help enhance the overall result.

We offer AIRFLOW at many Bupa Dental Care practices. Get in touch with your local practice to find out more or book an appointment.

How do I visit a Bupa Dental Care hygienist?

Some of our dental practices offer direct access to a hygienist, so you might not need to be registered to see a Bupa hygienist. Other practices prefer you to register and have a dental check-up first. Check with your local practice below when making an appointment.

Get in touch with your local Bupa Dental Care practice.

1. Sculean A. A paradigm shift in mechanical biofilm management? Subgingival air polishing: a new way to improve mechanical biofilm management in the dental practice. Quintessence Int. 2013 Jul;44(7):475-7. doi: 10.3290/j.qi.a29615. PMID: 23616981.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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