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Office staff, dental hygienist, and dentist. These are some of the people you will meet at the dentist’s office. If your child has not visited the dentist’s office before, it may be helpful to explain the various roles. Front desk staff greets patients and checks them in. The dentist examines the teeth, gums, and x-rays (if applicable) following a cleaning. Most commonly, the hygienist is the person with whom your child will spend the most time during a routine visit.

What does a dental hygienist do?

The dentist and hygienist work together to meet take care of patient’s teeth and gums. Dental hygienists clean the patients’ teeth and look for signs of any problems. In addition, they will educate patients and/or parents on steps to maintaining good oral health.


Hygienists clean patients’ teeth by removing plaque and hard deposits. They also floss the teeth and may apply a fluoride treatment or sealants.


The dental hygienist is also responsible for the initial exam of the patient. This takes place before the dentist comes to the chair. The hygienist counts the teeth and assesses any changes in dental health. He or she also observes areas of concern and makes note of potential issues. This team member also conducts X-rays and oral cancer screenings.


Dental hygienists are respected members of an oral health care team. They educate their patients on proper care of teeth and gums. They may tell a patient about problem areas and suggest ways to minimize future damage.

The hygienist team here at Brier Creek Pediatric Dentistry always strives for a friendly, fear-free visit for our patients. If your child needs a cleaning and check-up, please give us a call.