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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.

10 (More) Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists

Although the dental hygiene profession can be rewarding at times, those little nuances called “pet peeves” can overshadow the day. After a positive response to my first article, 10 Pet Peeves of Dental Hygienists (Plus 5 Patient Pet Peeves), I am following up with 10 additional pet peeves. The following is a list of pet peeves not yet explored on...

Athletes and Dental Caries: The Power of Acid on Tooth Decay

A new school year always represents the start of students participating in school sports. The athletic activities typically precipitate an increase in the consumption of sports beverages and protein bars for increasing carbohydrate intake for energy and to replenish electrolytes. The role of the dental hygienist is to educate the parent and the child on the importance of good nutritional...

Periodontal Diagnosis: How to Maintain Positive Control of the Appointment

As dental hygienists we’ve all been there, treating a new patient with a periodontal diagnosis.  How do we turn an appointment around after we diagnose a new patient who has been seen by the same dentist regularly for years yet has never heard of periodontal disease?  It’s an everyday struggle for a dental hygienist to gain control of the...

Dental Hygiene: A Community Coming Together with Shared Experiences

The dental hygiene profession can be self-satisfying, rewarding, educating, and humbling, as well as trifling, mentally and physically exhausting, and perplexing.  Judging from recent dental hygiene blogs, it seems that the majority of practicing dental hygienists have encountered similar reactions, both positive and negative, in their work environments. Dental hygienists juggle the emotional rollercoaster of patients, fellow employees, doctors, professional...

Pediatric Prophylaxis: Helpful Hints for Dental Appointments with Children

An emphasis on the importance of dental health has increased the number of children seeking dental visits. A study conducted in 2014 reported that 64.6% of children under the age of 18 visited their dentist every six months.1 This statistic increased to 84.6% in another study conducted in 2017.2 Implementing a successful pediatric visit will often encourage children and their...

Restorative: Additive Developed in Oregon Could Strengthen Treatment Options

The dental community is in a continual search for better dental materials and treatment options to provide an affordable, durable, and improved quality of care for its patients. The Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Dentistry has recently developed a filling material that is “two times more resistant than standard filling” materials presently used in dentistry.1  Currently,...

Children’s Oral Health Month: Emphasis on Children’s Dental Care

February is designated Children’s Oral Health Month in the dental community. Children’s Oral Health Month places emphasis on educating parents and children on the importance of children’s oral health. As part of the celebration, dental professionals and dental supply companies focus on oral health care prevention and preparation for the challenges facing children’s oral health. Caries is the most preventable...

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...