looking after your teeth

It is important that between visits to your dentist, you look after your teeth well. Good oral hygiene is essential to reduce bad breath and reduce the build up of plaque and tartar that can lead to gum disease. It will also reduce the need for fillings and other future treatment.

Your dentist and hygienist will advise you how to brush properly, whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, and how to use floss and interdental brushes to keep teeth and gums healthy.
Regular check-ups are a vital part of maintaining good oral health. During a check-up, our dentists will examine the whole mouth, including all of the structures inside and outside (e.g. your jaw joint), and will screen for mouth cancer. In some cases a scale and polish may be carried out. Instruments, tests, clinical expertise and x-rays are used to help detect cavities and other tooth and jaw problems.

After an examination, your dentist will discuss the results, plan any necessary treatment and give you advice on how to look after your teeth and gums between visits.


Our Dental Hygienists not only carry out scale and polish treatments to ensure teeth are thoroughly cleaned, but also apply preventative materials to the teeth and gums, and advise on diet and individual home care regimes. They also carry out detailed and precise treatments to restore oral health for patients suffering from gum disease.

Our Dental Hygienists are an integral part of our dental team. Their services are often used alongside other specialised dental treatments, such as adding artificial teeth. This care not only helps to restore good oral health, but also advises on how to tailor a lifelong oral regime to your individual requirements following treatment, which can be followed at home. Regular repeat visits to the hygienist are then recommended to ensure good oral health is maintained and that treatments are successful, with a long life.

mouth cancer

There are on average, over 4,400 new cases of mouth cancer diagnosed in the UK each year. This figure is still increasing. Whilst research has shown that mouth cancers are more common amongst people over 40, particularly men, it is also becoming more common in younger people and women. Anyone can be affected by mouth cancer, whether they have their own teeth or not. Smoking and heavy drinking increase the risks.

Mouth cancer can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat. It can appear as a painless mouth ulcer that does not heal normally. Less often, a white or red patch in the mouth may develop into a cancer. It is important to visit your dentist if these areas do not heal within three weeks.

Mouth cancer can often be spotted in its early stages by your dentist during a thorough mouth examination. If mouth cancer is recognised early, then the chances of a cure are good.

Our dentists check for symptoms of mouth cancer in patients during each examination. They will examine a patient's head and neck, looking for abnormalities or swelling, and will look carefully inside all areas of the mouth, including the lips and tongue.

If your dentist feels further examination is necessary, they will refer you to a specialist who will see you promptly to give a second opinion. However, not all suspicious areas turn out to be cancerous.


  • Q: Can a hygienist help to prevent problems with teeth and gums?
    A: Yes, that’s exactly what they are trained to do. By professionally removing the plaque and tartar from the teeth, and instructing how this can be maintained at home to prevent future build up, the risks from tooth decay and gum disease is reduced considerably.

  • Q: How do dental hygienists aid prevention of tooth decay and gum disease?
    A: Your hygienist will thoroughly clean and polish your teeth (scale and polish) removing any plaque and tartar, and can apply fluoride as a preventative measure. They can also apply anti-bacterial gels and solution under the gum to kill the bacteria that causes gum disease. A very important part of the hygienists’ role is to advise and instruct on a specific home care routine, suited to your individual needs.

  • Q: Can children visit a dental hygienist?
    A: Yes. Hygienists can polish children’s teeth, apply fluoride gels and solutions to prevent decay, and seal the biting surfaces of the permanent back teeth with a plastic coating soon after the tooth comes through, as another preventative measure.

  • Q: Will I feel any pain?
    A: Treatments do not usually hurt. However, should you feel any discomfort, it is important to tell your hygienist as they can use anaesthetic creams or a local anaesthetic.

  • Q: How can I look after my teeth and gums at home?
    A: Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cut down on how often you have sugary drinks and snacks, and visit your dentist regularly as recommended. A dental hygienist will show you the most effective way to clean your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, and also how to clean between with dental floss, tape or small brushes.