Expand Your Hygiene Career By Thinking Like an Entrepreneur

The question comes up a lot: How do I expand my career outside of the clinical setting? It is quite difficult to answer this question. Not because there are no opportunities, there’s actually many. It’s because there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to answer this question. It really depends on you, as an individual; including your particular goals, expectations, skillset, and what...

4 Things Dental Hygienists Don’t Like to Hear

Not many people like going to a dental office, whether it’s because of the amount of time that is spent or because of dental anxiety. Therefore, as dental hygienists, we try our very best to ensure that each patient has a smooth time in the office and our patients feel comfortable. However, there are a few things that patients...

5 Mouth Myths Debunked

There are many misconceptions regarding oral hygiene and the mouth that some of our patients believe to be true. With a large amount of false information found online, it’s no wonder our patients can be easily led in the wrong direction when it comes to oral health. It’s always important to remember that just because you read something online, doesn’t...

Dr. Esther Wilkins and a Century of Change

Dr. Esther Wilkins
In December 2016, the world of dentistry lost a remarkable and groundbreaking woman, just three days after her 100th birthday. Esther Wilkins, the "matriarch of dental hygiene" was first licensed as a hygienist in 1939, and presided over decades of revolutionary changes in oral health and dental practice. Her long career in the field spanned sweeping changes such as: The evolving...

Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste Trend: Should it Stay or Fade Away?

charcoal toothpaste
The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word "charcoal," is a great tasting chargrilled burger. What I do not think about is rubbing a charcoal powder to cleanse my face or use as a facial peel. I also don't think about plastering black clumps of charcoal all over my teeth to try to whiten...

Polishing: Are You Spinning in Circles or Ready to Ride the Wave?

Do you remember the spring semester your freshman year of dental hygiene school? Filled with lingering instrumentation competencies, the anticipation of seeing your first REAL patient? As an educator, each spring when I teach polishing, students are just thrilled. They love it, and it is FUN for them! Polishing is FUN, but depending on when and where you received...

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...

Dentistry is a Real Pain in the Neck

The prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the dental profession is well established and can have detrimental effects on productivity and lead to early retirement. The cause is attributed to ergonomic hazards, such as strained posture and repetitive movements. Studies show MSDs occur in 54-93% of dental professionals and involve the spine, shoulders, and hand-wrist tract.1 Though that statistic...

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...

Does Xylitol Outshine Fluoride in the Fight against Tooth Decay?

For years fluoride has been dentistry’s gold standard in the fight against tooth decay. In 1945, water fluoridation was implemented. A 60% reduction in tooth decay was reported over a 12-year span after water fluoridation. In 1950, the first fluoride toothpastes were marketed.1,2 The discovery of fluoride has no doubt been a huge benefit in reducing tooth decay. Even...

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