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Heather Hakes, RDH

Heather Hakes, RDH
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Heather Hakes, RDH, was born in Upstate New York where she started her Dental Hygiene career in 2000. Heather practiced in Upstate New York for three years at a general dentist practice where she gained experience with high and low functioning special needs patients. Heather then went on to pediatrics before moving to Virginia in 2007. She currently practices in Virginia in a general dental practice, where she has worked for the last ten years. Heather also works one day per week in an office with periodontal focus. Heather resides in rural Virginia with her husband, Robert, her son Ryan, and two dogs, Rex and Jake. Heather enjoys home improvement projects, reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.

Dental Hygiene Diagnosis: The Basis for Standard of Care

The dental hygiene diagnosis is an integral part of a dental hygiene appointment. It allows for the collection of data to be formulated into an oral health care plan that is patient-specific in order to obtain optimum oral health care instruction. Consequently, the dental hygiene diagnosis has gained a heightened awareness by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American...

Dental Therapists: A Solution to the Lack of Dental Care Needs Being Met?

Recently, the state of Arizona signed the bill to allow for a mid-level, licensed dental professional, called a “dental therapist,” to provide care in underserved areas.1 A dental therapist is a mid-level, licensed oral care provider who provides preventative and restorative oral care.2 The admittance of such a new oral health provider has caused conflict between state officials and...

The Importance of Seeking Professional Dental Treatment for Teeth Whitening & Orthodontics

The internet’s availability has changed the way society functions. It has opened doors to information, products, and social connections. Access to the internet allows the browser to review products and businesses and to order products and services, as well as to make appointments and access medical records. Dental products and services are not exceptions. The internet’s ease of access...

Halloween Candy: The Dental Implications of Different Kinds

It is that time of year when children dress up and go door-to-door to collect bags full of candy. It is also that time of year where diet and nutrition are discarded, and parents face the unthinkable: their children will be consuming large quantities of Halloween candy. Sweets play one of the key roles in dental caries. However, the...

5 Dental Urban Legends: The Tooth be Told

Urban legends are types of modern folklore or fictional stories presented as true and used for entertainment or to serve as cautionary tales. Urban legends were first published in 1968 and are typically complete stories with plots and characters that are “rooted in popular culture” and display elements of “fear, humor, mystery or horror”.1 The urban legends of dentistry...

Sleep Apnea: A Growing Health Concern Hygienists Need to Know About

Sleep apnea has become a growing health concern because of its link to other potentially fatal health conditions. Sleep apnea occurs when there are pauses in the breathing of people sleeping, and may result in the sufferer waking and gasping for air. As dental clinicians, we have the ability to evaluate our patients for potential sleep disorders, based on...

Athletic Mouth Guards: Playing It Safe

It is that time of year when the kids start a new school year, and many participate in school sports programs. Although schools attempt to keep our children safe on and off the field, the regulations for athletic mouth guards are not consistent with the need to prevent injury in the majority of school-based sports. A dental professional has...

10 Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists (Plus 5 Patient Pet Peeves)

We all go through our days capping our frustrations from those unexpected little annoyances, aka pet peeves. A pet peeve is defined as “a minor annoyance that individuals identify as particularly annoying to them, to a greater degree than others may find.” Whether you are driving in your car and someone pulls out in front of you, only to turn...

Oil Pulling: Is it Effective?

I have recently been asked my professional opinion on “coconut oil pulling” by numerous patients. Although unfamiliar with this technique, I was curious about its benefits to dental health. What is “Oil Pulling?” Oil pulling is an ancient and traditional technique that is practiced in Southeast Asia and India. The remedy claims to remove bacterial toxins, mostly Streptococcus mutans, which...

The History of Dental Hygiene: Development through the Years

As I get older, I notice myself commonly making references to the past by using the phrase, “Back in the day…” Music and television award shows also pay homage to their past and the changes that have taken place over the years. Then, too, education teaches lessons on past world history as it does on current world affairs. History...