Advice following your visit to your dental hygienist

Bacteria combine with food and saliva in the mouth to form a soft, whitish film, which sticks to the surface of teeth, called plaque. The longer you leave plaque undisturbed, the more damaging it becomes.

If plaque is not removed regularly it hardens to form calculus (also called scale or tartar).

Over 90% of people develop calculus which then creates a tough, pitted surface on their teeth and this encourages further plaque growth and makes removal more difficult.

Once formed, calculus can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist.

If plaque and calculus are not removed, plaque can irritate and cause damage to the gums around the teeth. Gums become red and inflamed and may bleed after gentle brushing, eating or spontaneously. Often people think that they have brushed too hard when they find blood on their toothbrush but in general this is often a sign of gum disease.

Mild gum disease is known as gingivitis and can be reversed with thorough plaque control.

After your teeth have been cleaned they may feel sensitive. This is because the root surface that was covered in calculus is now exposed to air at times. We recommend using Sensodyne F toothpaste applied at night onto the affected area after cleaning your teeth. Click here to see our Sensodyne information sheet