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Treatments > Hygiene & prevention

Our Barbican Hygienist, Dawn Sherry, understands that patients have lots of questions about their dental health and other treatments.

Please find below some answers to these questions, or call the practice on 020 7638 8200 if you would like to find out more.

Direct Access

As a patient you will be able to book an appointment with our hygienist without having to see the dentist first. This is avialble to existing and new patients with the aim of making it more convinent to attain regular preventatve dentistry. There are some cases, where the hygienist may need to refer to the dentist before commencing work.

Eat properly

To avoid periodontal and other diseases it is important to develop sound nutritional habits.
Many of the foods that help your body build strong muscles and bones also help build strong, healthy teeth and gums.

Dairy products provide calcium and vitamin D for strengthening teeth and bones. Breads and cereals supply B vitamins for growth and iron for healthy blood, which in turn contributes to healthy gum tissue. Fruits and vegetables containing vitamin C (among other important vitamins) are essential to maintaining healthy.

Lean meat, fish, poultry and beans provide iron and protein for overall good health, and magnesium and zinc for teeth and bones.


Using dental floss is an essential part of the tooth cleaning process because it removes plaque from between the teeth and gums. This is where periodontal disease often starts. Your dental hygienist can show you the best way to use floss but here is a basic guide

Wind about 18 inches of floss around your middle fingers of each hand. Pinch the floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving a 1-2 inch length between. Use thumbs to direct floss between your upper teeth.

Then keep a 1-2 inch length of floss taut between your fingers. Use your index fingers to guide the floss between your lower teeth.

It is better to gently guide the floss between your teeth by using a zigzag motion. Don’t forget to contour the floss around the sides of the tooth.

Slide the floss up and down against the tooth surface and under the gumline. Floss each tooth thoroughly with a clean section of floss.

Tooth brushing

Barbican Dental PracticeThe best advice is to brush your teeth twice a day – in the morning and at bedtime is convenient. You should use a soft-tufted brush. The right size brush is important as it should fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily.

Place the tufts along the gumline at a 45 degree angle making sure that the brush touches both the tooth surface and the gums. You should spend 30 seconds brushing each of the four sections of your mouth – upper left and right and lower left and right making sure that the insides, outsides and biting surfaces of all teeth are all brushed, concentrating in the area where the tooth meets the gum.
And don’t forget to clean your tongue

- ideally using special tongue cleaner
– it will leave your mouth feeling really fresh.

Remember to replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

You may find it easier to use a modern electric toothbrush - just guide it around your mouth without putting much pressure on it.

Dentists recommend using a toothpaste containing fluoride which helps protect your teeth from decay. A pea sized amount of toothpaste on your brush is quite sufficient.

(Courtesy of the BDHF)

More information

British Dental Health Foundation >>>
British Dental Association >>>
3D Tooth education >>>
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