Your Smile’s Guardian: Understanding the Role of a Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist
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With dental health being such an important element in keeping our smiles bright, the role of dental hygienists coming into play is super helpful. They are kind of super warriors of dental health, teammates of the dentists to reduce periodontal diseases, cavities, and other types of oral problems. They do, from cleaning teeth to educating us on oral hygiene habits, dental hygienists assist us in maintaining healthy mouths and lovely smiles. They stand out for their expertise and concern for us to ensure that we have appropriate dental care, which will result in better dental health. In this blog, let’s understand them and their responsibilities with a closer look.

What is a dental hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a trained professional who teams with dentists for the delivery of preventative dental services like carrying out cleaning of teeth, application of fluoride and placing of dental sealants. On top of scaling back your plaque levels and helping with tartar scraping, their training also enables you to learn the right oral hygiene approaches and do the necessary screenings for gum disease and oral cancers. They are a medical specialist who ensures that one can maintain the health of their teeth and gums.

Decoding Dental Care Team: Dental Hygienist Vs Dentist

Bases Dentist Dental Hygienist
Scope of Practice Diagnose, treat, and manage oral diseases. They are specialised in performing dental procedures (e.g., fillings, root canals). Provide preventive care and educate patients. They usually conduct teeth cleanings and apply fluoride and sealants.
Supervision Often work independently or with dental assistants. Typically work under the supervision of a dentist.
Cost of service Services may be more expensive due to advanced procedures. Services are usually more affordable and focused on preventive care.
Patient Interaction Examine patients and develop treatment plans. Conduct initial screenings and educate on oral hygiene.
Role in Oral Health A key player in overall oral health management. Essential in promoting good oral hygiene habits.

Responsibilities of a Dental Hygienist

Maybe the question which is on your mind is: what does a dental hygienist do as a part of their job? To clarify this and to make you understand their roles, we have mentioned some main responsibilities of a dental hygienist.

  • Review Dental History
    A dental hygienist will sit and chat with you about your dental and in general, overall health history. This helps them know about your past dental issues (if any) and your future goals with your oral health. They also need to know if you’re taking any medicines or supplements. Checking what you are taking in be it a medication or supplement should be important because some of them can influence your dental health or combine to interfere with dental treatments. This might also include information like the use of effective oral care practices and the type of foods that make up your diet. This is one of the ways they inform themselves about the oral health status of a person and how to conduct the check-up, or else treat the individual.
  • Perform Dental Health Screenings
    A dental hygienist will also regularly conduct check-ups including, finding issues like cavities, swollen gums, and mouth cancer signs. These check-ups can detect lesions or any other underlying disease and help your dentist figure out a suitable treatment. It’s like the hygienist getting your teeth treated could see a small cavity forming during the cleaning, and stating this to the dentist helps in earlier detection of issues making it possible to give treatment before a problem becomes serious.

Perform Various Treatments

Dental hygienists provide a variety of treatments for your teeth and gums which include:

  • Dental Cleaning:
    A dental hygienist will utilise exclusive techniques to clean your teeth and remove hard plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth. They will polish your teeth in the way that is proper for your dentition. These cleanups on a scheduled basis prevent frequent cavities and gum diseases.
  • Dental X-rays:
    The hygienists will also take X-rays of your dental area, which technically reveal to the dentist what’s actually happening inside your mouth at a close range. Furthermore, it is a tool which the dentist uses to see teeth, bones and other such important areas and to ensure that your smile remains healthy.
  • Dental Sealant:
    Otherwise known as a preventive measure, once again performed by the dental hygienist gang, this includes placing a protective covering on your molars. Sealants act as a shield behind the scenes by shielding the edges of the molars where plaque, food, and bacteria may find fancy deep grooves and can hide. This reduces the chances of getting a cavity.
  • Provide Instructions on Oral Hygiene
    Continuous dental cleanings play a prominent role in keeping the mouth healthy. Nevertheless, general cleaning routines are not sufficient to meet our needs. Hygienists can show you how to brush and floss considering your specific needs.

For example, they can explain to you how to clean your teeth properly when you have a dental bridge. Likewise, a dental hygienist can recommend special brushes and products for enhanced cleaning if you are using dental implants. They will not only help you through the challenges but also develop an action plan on what is best for your teeth.


Now that you have an idea what a dental hygienist is, you cannot ignore the fact that they are an invaluable resource in the dental health industry. If you are looking for similar services, check out Ashburton Dental Centre in Perth. They will value your requirements and give you the treatment you deserve by going beyond your general expectations.

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