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