Fanny Gladdle qualified from Bristol hospital as a dental hygienist. She now has over 30 years experience. Dental hygienists play an educational and preventative role within the dental team. Patients are usually referred to the hygienist by their dentist. Hygienists help to treat and prevent gum disease by scaling and polishing teeth, taking x-rays and screening. They also advise patients how to care for their teeth through brushing and a healthy diet.