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Heidi Cruz, RDH, BSDH

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Heidi Cruz, RDH, BSDH, is an expanded duties hygienist at Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic in Yakima, Washington. She previously worked as a dental assistant and dental financial manager in private practice before attending dental hygiene school at Yakima Valley College, where she discovered her passion for Community Health. She then completed her Bachelor's degree in dental hygiene at Oregon Technical Institute. When not working, Heidi takes full advantage of the beautiful state she lives in. She loves backpacking, skiing, gardening, and taking care of her goats.

Patient Dexterity and OHI: How One Hygienist’s Perspective Changed Following Surgery

Dental hygienists are trained to help people with limited dexterity or the inability to use their hands normally, and they find efficient ways to care for those dental patients’ teeth. We work hard to stay up to date on the latest gadgets to aid with daily home care and interdental cleaning. The market is full of solutions that we can...

Home Care: Helping the Dental Patient Develop Lasting Oral Health Habits

As rewarding as a dental hygiene career can be, there will always be challenges. One of the biggest frustrations in dental hygiene practice is patients’ non-compliance with home care instructions. It is important to figure out what is holding them back. Possibilities could include the lack of skill or dexterity, not understanding the instructions given, or simply not valuing their...

Newborns: How Hygienists Plant the Seeds of Oral Care before Birth

Much emphasis has been given to prenatal oral care of patients, which is essential because 60% to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, and one in four pregnant women have untreated caries.2 However, with so much emphasis on the dental care of the mother, what happens when the baby arrives? The mother doubtlessly is busy thinking about clothing, bedding, strollers,...

How Children with Autism View the Dental Experience

Dental providers consistently strive to provide comfortable care to all patients. However, children on the autism spectrum present a particular challenge in dental care due to sensory and communication issues. The prevalence of diagnosed autism disorders has increased. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 54 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder. This...

Community Health Clinics: Discovering Joy in a Dental Hygiene Career

When I tell my dental hygienist friends that I work in a community health clinic, I get a variety of responses. Some ask if I’m doing non-surgical periodontal therapy/SRP all day. Many ask how long I think I can keep it up. Others ask if I’ve looked around for a private practice job. However, the truth is I love...