The Sandstone Dental Practice


Dental Hygiene & Gum Disease Prevention in Merseyside

A healthy mouth not only feels good, but looks good and can keep many dental problems at bay. Regular dental hygiene appointments will help you maintain a healthy mouth and provide you and your family with advice on how best to look after your teeth and gums to prevent periodontal (gum) disease.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Life

Dental hygienists are primarily concerned with preventative dental care and will work closely with you to help keep your mouth healthy. Our hygienists are specially trained in preventing and treating gum disease. They can also provide advice on your diet and lifestyle which can have a significant impact on how healthy your teeth and gums are, such as stopping smoking or restricting certain types of food and drink. Your mouth is also the gateway to the rest of your body and there is increasing evidence linking gum disease with many other health complications such as diabetes, heart disease & respiratory disease so it’s really important to have your gum health checked regularly and attend regular hygiene appointments.

What Can I Expect at a Hygiene Appointment?

Once you’ve been welcomed into our practice and are comfortably in your chair, your hygienist will begin by discussing your previous dental & medical history and find out a bit about your current oral hygiene habits. A careful gum and plaque assessment will then be carried out.

It’s here that they will check for any signs of gum inflammation (bleeding) and look for any buildup of plaque,calculus or staining.

Treatment is then tailored to you and you will be offered a home care plan. Further  appointments may be needed depending on the condition of your gum health and this will be discussed with you.

Airflow teeth polishing on The Wirral

The Sandstone Dental Practice uses airflow polishing to provide exceptional cleaning and polishing for patients. The Airflow treatment not only smooths and cleans teeth, but also removes stains effectively, making them whiter and brighter.

We all suffer from persistent stains from tea, coffee, red wine, tobacco, and other substances that we consume. Airflow removes these stains with a fine jet of sodium bicarbonate particles, compressed air, and water. Unlike other dental restorations or dental implants, Airflow does not touch the teeth, so it is comfortable for patients who suffer from sensitivity.

Once scaling has been completed, your hygienist will use the Airflow to complete your hygiene appointment, leaving your teeth naturally whiter.


We appreciate that knowing when to bring your kids to the dentist can be confusing, so we’ve put together a list of our patients most frequently asked questions for your convenience.

The frequency of your dental hygiene appointments will depend on your own, individual circumstances and how at risk you are of gum disease or whether you have previously suffered with periodontitis. If you’re more at risk then we’d recommend seeing us every 3 months, for those with reduced risk it could be as little as every 6 months. Even if you follow our expert home care plan, you should still attend your hygienist appointments as they can reach areas of your teeth and gums that brushing can miss. We can also remove stains caused by dark foods and drinks, or smoking.

‘Direct access’ means that you can receive treatment from a dental hygienist without having to see a dentist first. You do not need a referral from a dentist and can book in directly with our hygiene team.

This means that you can seek and receive many treatments with our highly trained hygienists in a shorter space of time.

The only exception to this is tooth whitening, which must still be carried out on prescription from a dentist.

We highly recommend following a strict oral hygiene routine at home to give you the best chance of keeping your teeth for life and preventing other systemic health issues linked with gum disease. Brush twice a day, ideally with an electric toothbrush, for at least two minutes at a time as well as cleaning between your teeth with a suitable interdental aid such as floss or an interdental brush. Our team will be able to recommend the best products to use for your own personal circumstances.

We usually advise using any standard fluoride toothpaste unless you have sensitive teeth, then we’d suggest a desensitising toothpaste such as Sensodyne.

If you do suffer from sensitive teeth, we suggest avoiding whitening toothpaste unless it’s Sensodyne’s Gentle Whitening.

Remember to brush after interdental cleaning and spit any excess toothpaste out at the end instead of rinsing with water or mouthwash.

If you do want to use a mouthwash, try to use at a different time to brushing to allow your toothpaste time to soak in and protect.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is predominantly caused by poor oral hygiene which leads to a buildup of plaque on your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria and if allowed to mature can become harmful to teeth and gums. If not removed effectively, plaque can mineralise into calculus (previously called tartar) which can only be removed by professional cleaning carried out by your dental hygienist. Gum disease is not always painful and you may be unaware you have it. Early symptoms may include red, swollen gums and bleeding after brushing or flossing your teeth. This stage is known as Gingivitis and is reversible. If this is allowed to progress then it can lead to Periodontitis which is a more destructive form of gum disease that can lead to bone loss surrounding the teeth and eventually tooth loss. Later symptoms may include bad breath, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, loose teeth, and gum abscesses. There are also several risk factors for gum disease, of which smoking is the most significant and can also make treatment less successful. Hormonal changes, diabetes, and its medications, as well as genetics can also play a key role.