A dental hygienist is a highly trained licensed oral health professional who provides educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to enhance your oral and overall health. Your hygienist serves several functions in the dental office. She checks for and treats many dental conditions. She also cleans your teeth, using specialized tools and techniques, as well as provide valuable education. As part of the preventative function of her job, she will thoroughly clean all surfaces of your teeth, removing plaque, tartar, and stains from above and below the gum line. She will also take and develop dental x-rays so your dentist can view them and quickly diagnose any problems that may exist. In addition, your hygienist will teach you how to effectively care for your teeth at home as well as explain just how important a healthy diet is for healthy teeth and gums.