Category: Hygienist

The vital role your dentist and hygienist play in your general health

Everyone knows the dentist and hygienist help to take care of your teeth and gums, but did you know they also play an important role in preserving your general health? Smilemakers in Southampton offers a full range of general and preventative dental treatments, along with all the dental hygiene services needed to keep your teeth squeaky clean and your oral health in tip-top condition.

dental-hygieneAt our Southampton clinic we believe visits to the dentist should be as accessible as possible. That’s why we offer new patient consultations for just £30, whilst children can benefit from free check-ups.

It’s vitally important to familiarise your child with the practice environment from a very early age, so that they quickly learn to see visits as routine, and the dentist as a friendly face whom they enjoy seeing every six months so they can show off how good they’ve been at brushing their teeth.

Taking your child to the dentist from an early age also helps to prevent dental phobia later in life. At our Southampton clinic we will ensure your child has a positive experience at every dental appointment.

Both the dentist and hygienist play a very important role in preventing tooth decay and gum disease, which are two leading causes of tooth loss. Often, these conditions have few noticeable symptoms in the early stages. At our Southampton dental practice we use early detection techniques, including taking x-rays to look inside your teeth and under any pre-existing restorations such as crowns, veneers, or fillings, to make sure your teeth are as healthy as they look.

Losing your teeth impacts on your ability to eat a healthy diet, which can lead to a range of general health problems (even malnutrition in the worst cases if it’s too painful to eat) as well as damaging your self-image and confidence.

Gum disease has been linked to a number of general health concerns, from lung and heart disease to strokes, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, attending regular check-ups with your dentist and appointments with the hygienist can help prevent these serious problems from developing.

Your dentist, your hygienist, and you: the winning team for a healthy mouth

A healthy, happy mouth involves team work between your dentist, your hygienist, and yourself. At Smilemakers in Southampton we offer a full range of general dental and hygiene services, with the focus firmly on preventative dentistry – stopping problems before they start, or treating them promptly if they do arise.

dental-hygiene-SouthamptonUK adults are among the best in the world for visiting the dentist. We are the second most likely to visit a dental practice regularly, with 72% of us attending regular dental check-ups, second only to the Netherlands at 79%.

A common question is how often one should visit the dentist. At our Southampton dental practice the standard advice is to come in for a general check-up every six months, although because everyone’s requirements vary some people will need to come in more or less frequently – the best thing to do is to follow the advice of your dentist.

We also offer full dental hygiene services at our Southampton practice. The hygienist is a vitally important member of your oral healthcare team, helping to treat and fight against gum disease.

What your dentist will do

Your Southampton dentist will thoroughly check the health of your teeth, gums, and surrounding structures, as well as checking for signs of oral cancer as standard.

Often, tooth decay and gum disease have few early symptoms that are noticeable at home. Thanks to the advanced decay detection techniques used at Smilemakers in Southampton, your dentist will be able to spot anything of concern at a very early stage, making treatment much simpler (and cheaper).

They will also check the condition, appearance, and function of any existing restorations, such as fillings, bridges, or dentures. Should they find anything that needs treating, they will create a fully customised treatment plan.

What your hygienist will do

In addition to professionally cleaning your teeth, your Southampton hygienist will provide you with bespoke advice to tailor your home care routine to suit your needs.

What you should do

You should follow the advice of your dentist and hygienist, and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Come into our Southampton practice as often as advised.

Why visiting your dentist regularly is vital for your health and wellbeing

Your dentist should be considered a vital member of your team not just in terms of looking after your oral health, but in terms of your general health and wellbeing, too. At Smilemakers dental clinic in Southampton, we offer a full spectrum of general dentistry, with our focus firmly on preventative care.

dental-healthGood oral health is important for more than just your teeth and gums. Gum disease has been linked to a number of other health concerns, including heart disease and diabetes, whilst losing teeth can have a serious impact on your ability to eat a healthy diet and maintain adequate nutrition. You need to visit your dentist regularly to avoid these problems, and to treat any issues promptly should they arise.

We are passionate about preventative dentistry at our Southampton clinic. Preventative dentistry strives to reduce the need for avoidable dental treatment such as fillings and tooth extractions, helping to keep your teeth and gums in optimum condition.

At Smilemakers in Southampton, we believe that effective preventative care involves team work. Your dentist, your hygienist, and yourself have to work together and develop an effective dental care regime, including regular visits to the dental practice.

The frequency with which you need to visit the dentist will depend on your individual health and requirements. It varies from every three months to once a year; your dentist will advise you how often to come to our Southampton clinic and you should follow that advice.

What your dentist will do

Your dentist will conduct a thorough clinical examination, including taking x-rays as necessary. Often, they will be able to spot early warning signs of such problems as tooth decay even before you’ve experienced any symptoms. They will check for signs of oral cancer, and treat any problems immediately.

What your hygienist will do

The hygienist will professionally clean your teeth to remove all traces of plaque. They play an important role in fighting gum disease, and will help you develop a good home cleaning routine.

What you need to do

  • Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly.
  • Follow their advice in terms of home routine and diet.

Learn How Your Hygienist Appointment Can Help Your Dental Health

We have a great hygiene department here at Smilemakers and we strongly suggest our patients come to see one of our hygienists every six months and it’s easy to book an appointment at the same time as your check-up with our Southampton dentist. By the end of your treatment you should have a mouth that feels beautifully clean and fresh and it is an excellent way to give your smile a bit of a boost and to make sure it looks extra-sparkly. However there is a serious reason why we like everyone to see a hygienist at regular intervals as it is a simple and effective way to keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy.

dental-hygienistHow Hygienist Appointments Can Benefit Your Oral Health

When you see one of our hygienists, they will carefully assess the condition of your gums before cleaning your teeth. During this process they remove all the build-up of plaque and tartar that can accumulate round the gum line which is the junction where your teeth meet your gums. Even if you clean your teeth meticulously twice a day and ensure you floss once-a-day, it is still possible to miss out certain areas, allowing plaque to soon harden into tartar. The problem with tartar is that it releases toxins that infect and inflame your gums, greatly increasing your risk of periodontal disease. This is a severe form of gum disease that is unfortunately pretty common.

Not only does it greatly increase your risk of tooth loss, but periodontal disease can affect your overall health and it has been connected to many serious health conditions that include strokes, heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. By having your teeth professionally cleaned, you reduce your risk of developing gum disease while protecting your general health. At the same time, you will find our hygienists are great at helping you improve your oral health at home.

How We Can Help You Brush and Floss More Effectively

Most people think they brush and floss relatively well, but it is easy to do this task without really thinking about it or often it is done when you are in a hurry or are feeling a bit tired. It is essential to brush for at least two minutes in order to cover all your tooth surfaces. If you have an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer then this is easy to achieve, but otherwise we often find that people underestimate the time spent brushing. Our hygienists can work with you to help improve your brushing and flossing techniques and can show you areas where you may be regularly failing to brush. It’s amazing how much difference this can make and will ensure you gain maximum benefit from every second you spend taking care of your teeth. Hate flossing? We can help you as there are alternative tools that you can use that can be equally effective so just ask us for help and advice.

Remember, you don’t need to see our dentist in Southampton to book an appointment with our hygienist. To arrange an appointment with our dentist or hygienist please contact Smilemakers on 02380 442626. Alternatively you can contact us through our website at

The Importance Of Regular Hygienist Appointments

Here at Smilemakers, we’re both a general and a cosmetic dentist in Southampton and as such we perform a wide variety of dental work from fillings and crowns to tooth whitening and dental implants. However, the foundation of our practice is to keep patients’ gums healthy.

cosmetic dentist in SouthamptonIt is estimated that up to 15% of UK adults have severe gum disease, or periodontal disease as it is known, and many more are less severely affected. Not only does this have serious consequences for oral health but can impact on your overall health too. For this reason we encourage our patients to schedule hygienist meetings with their Southampton dentist for at least every six months in order that they can be helped to maintain a high standard of oral health.

The main causes of periodontal disease are:

  • A build up of plaque and tartar
  • Incompetent dentistry (poorly fitting crowns or silver amalgam fillings which have corroded)
  • Inadequate compliance and maintenance from patient
  • General health and diet

Everyone is at risk of periodontal disease if they fail to maintain their teeth and gums adequately, but for certain groups of people the risk is even greater. For instance:

  • Smokers
  • Smokers who are diabetics
  • Diabetics
  • Those who are nutritionally deficient
  • People suffering from stress

Periodontal disease has also been linked closely with other major health risk such as:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis

In addition patients are twice as likely to suffer from respiratory problems if they have periodontal disease than a non sufferer and pregnant women with severe gum disease are 7 times more likely to deliver a baby that is low in weight than a woman with good oral health.

We’re sure you’ll agree that these are some worrying facts but by simply taking better care of your oral hygiene and attending six month check-ups, plus having regular cleaning sessions with our hygienists, you can keep gum disease at bay and considerably lower your risk of suffering serious health complications such as those mentioned above.

If you’ve missed out on a six month check-up or haven’t seen a hygienist in a while, then for the sake of your dental and overall health, we urge you to make an appointment with Smilemakers, your local Southampton dentist. Call us today on 02380 442626 or book via our website at