Erythritol: The Other Sugar Alcohol

The sugar alcohol family, known as polyols, have become popular in chewing gums, lozenges, and dental hygiene products due to their unique ability to add sweetness and improve oral health. Introduced in 1970, xylitol has recently been at the forefront of the discussion with benefits backed by extensive research. It has been incorporated into many dental hygiene products across...

A Patient’s Story of Tori Removal

NOTE: This story and associated photos are all used with express, written permission from the patient. Who among us has had a patient that taking radiographs is a freakish nightmare!? Is it a gag reflex? Ropey, copious saliva? Fear of radiation? Or, the dreaded tori that leave no room for the sensor, let alone the tongue and food!? Recently, I...

A New Dental Hygienist Shares Her Story of Staying True to Herself

I am here to tell you a story, a story with a moral to it. I will tell you that moral from the outset, just to alleviate your anticipation a bit and hopefully spark a hint of interest in you. The moral of this story is: You are enough and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, not even yourself. I...

Extractions: What to Say when Patients Schedule Based on the Moon

When I went for a consultation about my wisdom teeth extraction in high school, my oral surgeon asked me if I wanted to schedule my surgery with the signs of the moon. I thought he was joking. What does the moon have to do with getting my wisdom teeth removed? I don't read my horoscope or put stock in...

Loupe Holes in Dentistry

Dentistry has advanced in plenty of ways, including techniques, equipment, and the science behind it all. Unfortunately, as we age, instead of improving as dentistry does, we degrade due to stresses on the body. In hygiene, our bodies are not only affected ergonomically, but now that screens and electronics are so integrated into our daily lives, it’s only logical...

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...

QUIZ: Test Your Ergonomics Knowledge

NOW: Enter to Win an AeroPro™ Cordless Prophy System from Premier Dental!  

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...

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...

I Decay (IDK) What to Say: National Children’s Dental Health Month Presentations

Standing in front of a room full of listeners can be intimidating, even when the listeners are only elementary-age schoolchildren. When thinking of a school oral health presentation for National Children’s Dental Health Month, it can be overwhelming to decide what to say or topics to cover. Thankfully, there are many resources available for dental hygienists to gather ideas....

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