Our History

The BSDHT (formerly BDHA) wish to thank Rosemarie Khan, OBE, for giving permission to use text from: The History of the British Dental Hygienists’ Association, 1949 – 1999.

In the Beginning There Were Twelve

The inaugural meeting of the British Dental Hygienists’ Association took place on 6 July 1949 at the Eastman Dental Clinic, Gray’s Inn Road, London. Twelve potential members were present, and officers and committee members were elected. They were:

  • Chairman – Vera Creaton
  • Secretary – Ann Hamer
  • Treasurer – Eva Ecob

The four committee members were Pat Chester, Joan Smith, Nancy Stormont and Tony Walker.

It was decided at this meeting to name the Association ‘The British Dental Hygienists’ Association’ (BDHA). It was proposed that in addition to the Annual General Meeting, there should be three other meetings per year and that Association headquarters would be at the Eastman Dental Clinic. Vera Creaton, the Chairman, proposed that an informal newsletter should be circulated to members and interested members should send news to the Secretary whenever possible. Subsequently, in December 1949, the ‘Newsheet’ was published, however it was to be many years later that ‘Dental Health’, the journal of the British Dental Hygienists’ Association, was established.

A step forward for dental hygienists was made in 1970 when the GDC approved the use of the letters EDH as a short title for enrolled dental hygienists. In 1973 the first of the regional groups was formed. Originally named the Yorkshire Regional Group, the first informal meeting took place in June.


Dr Leatherman Award


BDHA was renamed

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) to reflect changes in education system.


Diamond Jubilee

The organisation celebrated its Diamond Jubilee


Direct Access introduced


BSDHT First Smiles Campaign

{sponsored by Oral-B) to encourage members to educate children on the importance of good oral hygiene.


Launched BSDHT Indemnity

An insurance policy developed especially for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists.


Opened Rugby Head Office


BSDHT Benevolent fund

Introduction of the BSDHT Benevolent fund intended to assist Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists who are in need of financial assistance, helping to get lives and careers back on track.


Celebrated 70th Anniversary


First Online AGM & Oral Health Conference

Due to COVID-19 pandemic


Introduction of Mentorship Scheme and Training


Launch of BSDHT Bites e-newsletter


Launch of New Website and Member Portal

From that momentous day in July 1949, where twelve members formed the British Dental Hygienists’ Association, it has become an organisation recognised nationally and internationally

Past Presidents

Year                                                 Member

2020 – 2022                                    Diane Rochford

2018 – 2020                                    Julie Deverick

2016 – 2018                                    Helen Minnery

2014– 2016                                     Michaela ONeill

2012 – 2014                                    Julie Rosse

2010 – 2012                                    Sally Simpson

2008 – 2010                                    Dr Marina Harris

2006 – 2008                                    Michael G Wheeler BEM

2004 – 2006                                    Margaret K Ross OBE

2002 – 2004                                    Sue Skinner

2000 – 2002                                    Caroline Clitter

1998 – 2000                                    Mabel Slater MBE

1996 – 1998                                    Christine Pleasance

1994 – 1996                                    Shelagh Lockyer

1992 – 1994                                    Jacqui Smith

1990 – 1992                                    Sue Lloyd

1988 – 1990                                    Eveline Gray MBE  

1986 – 1988                                    Pat Gooderham

1984 – 1986                                    Rosemarie Khan OBE

1982 – 1984                                    Peggy Bardsley

1980 – 1982                                    Jean Bailey

1978 – 1980                                    Elizabeth Riding

1976 – 1978                                    Ann Round MBE

1969 – 1976                                    Wendy Leech MBE

1957 – 1969                                    Madeleine Ferry MBE

1949 – 1957                                    Vera Creaton MBE

Dr Gerald Leatherman (Honorary President 1957 – 1991)