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Why Dental X-rays Are Needed & Are Less Radiation than You Think

For some, a dental appointment is a fearfully, dreaded appointment; while others don’t mind or even eagerly anticipate the appointment. However, no matter which side of the fence you are on it seems to be a mutual consensus that no one enjoys dental X-rays, and many are confused why they are even necessary. Often, dental professionals are questioned about...

Teething Necklaces: Are They Worth the Risk?

I am a veteran dental hygienist. I am also a mother and a grandmother, and I like the title of “Memaw” much better. I know exactly how parents feel when a child is experiencing pain or discomfort. Parents want solutions and answers on how to alleviate or prevent the pain, especially when infants and small children are unable to...

Oral Health Effects of the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet has many devotees beyond the original intent of a controlled nutritional response to pediatric epilepsy. Dental hygienists have an in-depth understanding of the pivotal role nutrition can play in oral health and disease. Unexplained gingival inflammation can be rooted in what our patients consume daily and can be a small indication of a larger inflammatory issue...

How to Determine if a Patient Prefers a Chatty or Quiet Hygienist

Most career paths have a stereotype associated with them, which is usually untrue. For example, doctors are known for having "chicken scratch" handwriting. Librarians are known as little, old ladies with glasses, and police officers are rumored to love donuts. While these stereotypes were meant to be humorous, they don't define the careers. Several years ago, before I was even...

Measles: How Dentistry Can help Slow Outbreak through Diagnosis

We may see a record-breaking number of measles cases in the United States for the first time this year, the highest since the elimination of measles in the year 2000. From January 1 through April 19, there have been 626 individual cases of measles confirmed in 22 states. I would like to emphasize these are confirmed cases; there could be...

Is Teeth Whitening Really Safe?

In dentistry, there are few topics that come up more in conversation with our patients than whitening. Most hygienists will answer questions regarding teeth whitening treatments more times than they can count, but is the information we are giving our patients correct? This past week I was discussing this very subject with a long-time patient. He informed me he had...

The Oral Bacteria Prevotella intermedia and its Link to Gout and Hyperuricemia

Prevotella intermedia is a species that is found in gingival crevices; it is commonly found in patients who have gingivitis, periodontal disease, and other oral infections.3 Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis and juvenile gingivitis have also been found with this strand exhibited in their bacteria makeup. “The Prevotella species are small anaerobic, gram-negative rods frequently identified when the microbiome of...

The Unofficial Guide to National Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and if you are like me, you scour the internet for presentation ideas as you prepare to reach out to the youth in your area. For years, I have been going to the local elementary school to give a presentation to at least one grade level. Over the years, I have accumulated...

Toothbrush Etiquette: Could Your Toothbrush Have Fecal Matter On It?

For most of us, brushing our teeth is something we do daily, at least twice. It helps freshen our breath and to brighten our smile, but most importantly, we do it to keep our mouths healthy which unknowingly to most, affects our overall health. Society has been brushing their teeth for thousands of years now. The brush has evolved...

Chlorhexidine: An Update

Our goal as hygienists in treating active periodontal disease is not only to remove calculus contributing to bacterial growth and chronic inflammation but also to kill the bacteria which causes periodontal disease progression. Many of us were taught in school to irrigate periodontal pockets with chlorhexidine gluconate following non-surgical periodontal therapy/SRP to ensure bacterial destruction, as chlorhexidine has been...

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