A married couple are ready to get their teeth stuck into their studies, while completing the same Teesside University degree.

Ivett and Liam Hollands are first year BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene students in the School of Health & Life Sciences.

The couple, who relocated from Eastbourne, applied to Teesside University after visiting the campus during an open day. Their eventual aim is to set up a dental hygiene practice together.

Ivett, 24, said: “We chose Teesside after visiting an open day and we were really impressed by the facilities.  The people I met during the open day put me at ease after the long journey travelling up from Eastbourne.

“I found the vibe at Teesside really welcoming and I liked the structure of the course. The 24-hour library really appealed to me too.”

Liam, 23, said: “I wanted to study dental hygiene because it’s an industry I find interesting, while also providing an ability to eventually have my own patients, which will be rewarding.

“Teesside was one of a limited number of Universities offering this course. I came to the open day with Ivett and we both felt that the atmosphere was really calm and welcoming, more than other universities we had looked at.”

Ivett and Liam met at school in Eastbourne and have been married for a year. They were both previously working for an optician, before deciding to move into the dental industry.

Liam said: “I knew little about Teesside University, apart from that it was up north. It was one hundred percent a leap of faith.”

Ivett added: “I didn’t know much about Teesside, but I had heard that people were very friendly up north. When we came to the open day that was proven right, the students from the previous year were very informative and friendly.”

They are both looking forward to the next three years of studies as part of the degree, with Liam saying: “I have enjoyed the dental specific modules as this is my passion, I am really looking forward to seeing patients and expanding my clinical skills.

“My aim is to become a respected practitioner and one day even open up a practice with Ivett. Most of all I just want to be able to help my patients and if that’s all I can do then I will be happy.”

Ivett added: “I have enjoyed learning about teeth formation and statistics regarding oral health in various areas. The statistics have shown how important the hygienist job role is in supporting the public with their oral health and how things need to continue improving. I am looking forward to learning the techniques on clinic and learning more about preventative treatments.

“My aim is to develop my skills so that I can give patients the best care possible. I would also like to learn the best ways to help nervous patients as this is a major challenge in the dental industry. Eventually I would like to open a hygiene/dental practice with Liam.”

Gail Milburn, Senior Lecturer in Dental Nursing and Dental Hygiene in the University’s School of Health & Life Sciences, said: “Liam and Ivett have made a great start in their course.  They are both extremely committed to the dental hygienist profession and are eager to learn every aspect.

“I am looking forward to embarking on the clinical journey with them shortly where they will begin learning their clinical skills in our phantom head skills laboratory, to progress to treating patients on the Student Dental Facility later in the academic year.

“Teesside University is one of the few universities offering the BSc (Hons) Dental Hygiene course and it is fantastic to have two highly motivated students represent their future profession.  I have no doubt that Liam and Ivett will continue to thrive at Teesside and achieve their dream to become General Dental Council registered dental hygienists.”