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Rebecca Marie Friend, BS, RDH

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Rebecca Marie Friend, RDH, BS, attained her Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan in 1987, where she also met and married her husband. She has been a practicing dental hygienist for over 30 years and has raised three sons while working as a full-time clinical dental hygienist. Rebecca currently practices in Battle Creek, Michigan, for Dr. Earl E. Gaball, DDS, a general and sedation dentist. She resides in neighboring historic Marshall, Michigan. Rebecca is board certified in Nitrous Oxide and Local Anesthesia Administration and is certified in low-level laser therapy. Continuously striving to improve upon her skills and methods of forward-thinking in the dental world, she recently attained her Bachelor of Science degree in Oral Health Promotion through Action Research at O’Hehir University. She is actively involved in a mentorship with students at O’Hehir University. “I take pride in my abilities as a skilled periodontal therapist. I enjoy the patient-practitioner relationship that develops when trust and health are gained, taking mindful care of every individual that I connect with. The benefits of helping others achieve a healthy mouth and regain their confidence with a great smile and healthier self are very rewarding. Whole body health begins with the mouth.” In her free time, Rebecca enjoys visiting the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan where the sunsets are magical, the dunes are stunning, and the rocks are a collector’s delight. She loves to immerse herself in nature whenever she gets a chance and enjoys canoeing, kayaking, nature-walks, flexibility training, yoga, and little “get-a-ways” with her husband. Family life has always been important to her, and now that her three grown sons have spread their wings, she has a little more time to spread hers.

6 Things You Need to Know About Dental Sealants

Today’s society, especially in the U.S., is inundated with sugary liquids posing as healthy or energizing drinks. Many parents pack their children’s lunch boxes with fermentable carbohydrates such as chips and crackers, and sugary liquids such as juice boxes because they are easily accessible, and are non-perishable. Chewable vitamins and chewable sugary snacks that stick in occlusal surfaces are...

Why Home Care Should Be Flexible about Recommended Oral Hygiene Regimens

How many times have your impeccable scaling skills and topnotch, by-the-book oral hygiene recommendations and demonstrations resulted in an exhausting six-month recare appointment? The fact that plaque and calculus reinfest some mouths in six to eleven weeks (and sometimes less) sets us up for failure if we over-focus on scaling and under-focus on the cause of the biofilm reinfestation. Scaling...

Eagle Syndrome: How RDHs Can Distinguish it from TMD

Eagle syndrome is a rare condition where the styloid process becomes elongated or the stylohyoid ligaments become calcified. When the process elongates, it can constrict nerves, the carotid artery, and create a variety of symptoms that are often misdiagnosed. (see Image 1 and 2) The condition was discovered by Dr. Watt W. Eagle in 1937, an otolaryngologist at Duke University....

Tonsil Stones: Unraveling the Mysteries Found in Dental Patients’ Crypts

Crypt. It sounds like something one would visualize in a horror story. For some, tonsil crypts can be a kind of horror story as they become infested with tonsil stones, causing unwanted malodor even after thorough brushing, tongue scraping, interdental cleaning, and rinsing. This can become a frustrating concern for many people. Dental hygienists can provide a variety of recommendations...

Ankyloglossia: Please Release Me!

Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue-tie, is a congenital anomaly that may severely restrict the tongue’s range of motion. It is caused by an abnormally thick, short lingual frenulum which tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. Severe tongue-ties are usually discovered at birth as it interferes with normal breast-feeding.1 If not discovered at birth...

Online Dental Reviews: How to Turn a Negative into a Positive

In today’s online society, digital media has repeatedly demonstrated its power to influence, and dental professionals have been the recipients of the dreaded and unexpected negative review. Hopefully, your dental practice screens and monitors their online reviews on a daily basis. How you react to a negative review reflects the character and integrity of the office as a whole. Take...

Mental Nerve Block: A Welcomed Alternative in Mandibular Anesthesia

Effective anesthesia does not have to be a source of anxiety for patients or practitioners. Most of us dread the mandibular inferior alveolar nerve block (MIANB) and will try anything to avoid giving this injection. I am one of those practitioners who have explored other options to achieve pain-free anesthesia and pain-free periodontal treatment. When I was learning to give...

Spondylolisthesis and Spondylosis: A Warning for Hygienists with Back Pain

Managing chronic pain can be a lifetime task. Unfortunately, how we manage the pain may have dire consequences. Regular exercise, walking, yoga, massage, and chiropractic care of some methods of pain control and prevention. All of these methods may help prevent and control pain symptoms, but what if we forget to ascertain the cause? Radiography is the Gold Standard...

Case Study: Patient Finally Heeds RDH’s Alert Over Lesion

Last spring, I treated a patient who I have seen routinely every six months for the past 11 years. Rob is a 75-year-old Caucasian male, heavy smoker, an upper denture wearer, has a history of skin cancer, very stubborn, and insurance-driven. Yet, we enjoy each other’s visits. We have been discussing tobacco cessation for 11 years now; I must confess that...

Ergonomics: If I’d Only Known

Ergonomics Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction er·go·nom·ics   ˌər-gə-ˈnä-miks  An applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely – called also biotechnology, human engineering, human factors.1 If Only I’d Known… If only I’d know that this body would age, If only I’d known that loupes were good for my...