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What does a Dental Hygienist do?

In order to maintain the health of your teeth, it is important to regularly visit professionals. They will tell and show you what you can do at home or what you should do differently to keep your teeth and gums healthy. One of these professionals  is a dental hygienist.

What exactly is the dental hygienist?

The dental hygienist or oral health therapist is an important part of the dental team. They often work with a dentist, oral surgeon, or other dental specialists, and will gladly advise you on all aspects of dental hygiene. They can help you with the tools (toothbrushes, dental floss etc.) and in addition to the dentists’ work, dental hygienists can help to keep your teeth clean to prevent any diseases or illnesses.

A dental hygienist’s main responsibilities are:

  • reviewing dental and health history
  • examining patients
  • conducting dental cleanings (e.g.: with airflow)
  • applying preventive care
  • teaching patients good dental hygiene
  • helping patients improve and maintain good dental health
  • removing stitches 7-10 days after oral surgery

What are dental hygienists doing?

In short, they provide preventive oral care. When you book an appointment with a dental hygienist and you sit in the chair, they can clean your teeth, examine the tissue in your mouth for any wounds or signs of gingivitis or inflammation. They are able to clean teeth with an ultrasonic depurator and remove stains, plaque and tartar and discoloration with airflow, and educate patients on oral hygiene.

The biggest difference between a dentist’s and a dental hygienist’s job is the time you spend with them. You spend time with the dentist only when there is a problem. With a dental hygienist it is different. They help you to maintain preventative care and help you to avoid any diseases by teaching and educating you, often offering tips on what to eat and what not to eat.

During an appointment with a dental hygienist, they may perform the following tasks:

  • They will ask about your oral history, read your documents and carefully examining the exterior and interior of your mouth
  • They will perform the cleaning with the ultrasonic depurator including tartar removing and polishing
  • They might also perform dental whitening if requested and if the teeth are in a good condition for the bleaching.


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