Oil Pulling My Leg? Separating Fact from Fiction in Regards to Oil Pulling

“I brush once a day and am not the best flosser, but let me tell you, I started to oil pull for twenty minutes every day, and my teeth have never felt better!” My patient looked at me, waiting for some kind of confirmation that this was a good home care routine, while I examined her teeth and gingiva. I...

The Dental Diet: 10 Foods that Strengthen Your Teeth

You have probably heard the old adage, “you are what you eat.” Sure, this sounds like common sense advice, but diet and dental health have failed to focus on foods you should eat. We now realize that this saying is important for oral health. Each food that you put in your mouth affects your dental health. Teeth and eating always...

Dear IA Nerve Block: It’s Not Me, It’s YOU!

It’s time to breakup with the Inferior Alveolar Nerve Block As a seasoned educator and content expert in the delivery of dental local anesthesia, I find most of my esteemed colleagues, myself included, share a profound frustration over the seemingly inadequate anesthesia delivered to achieve mandibular numbness.  In simplest terms, the provision of mandibular anesthesia has most commonly been the...

A Practical Look at Silver Diamine Fluoride

silver diamine fluoride
As a practicing dental hygienist, I know every day I will fail to perfectly communicate the importance of diligent daily oral health care to a patient. I would like to believe that every single instance where a patient presents with gingivitis or incipient decay, I would be able to impress upon them the need to clean interdentally once, brush...

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...

A New Love Affair with Teledentistry

Clinical teledentistry made its debut with the United States military in 1994 but has surprisingly remained absent from our professional lives until recently1. Now, however, it is one of the hottest topics among oral health providers everywhere. The word “teledentistry” has become fresh, somewhat mysterious, and simply mentioning it prompts instant questions and interest. Revolutionary things like this are...

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...

Are you a “Pro”-biotic of the oral microbiome?

Health trends are like bad friends, they come and go. It is easy to get sucked into the pressure of the latest diet and lifestyle trend that is sure to give you that bikini body you have been working to achieve since high school. “Probiotic,” “good bacteria,” “microbiome,” “healthy gut,” are they just trendy buzzwords or have scientists finally...

Today’s RDH: The Winds of Change

During a recent continuing education event in Chapel Hill, NC, the speaker eluded over and over that change in dentistry IS coming to our beloved profession. If you were a dental hygiene graduate of 10, 15, or even 20 years ago, we have seen advances like none before, and more is on the way! Hygienists play a critical role...

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...

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Change The Way You Rinse

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