Honor Awards: North Carolina Hygienist Directs Dental Clinic Serving Underserved Adults

An executive director of an agency providing dental care to uninsured adults in North Carolina is one of three recipients of the 2021 Today’s RDH Honor Awards. Sommer Wisher, RDH, BS, leads the Wake Smiles Program in Raleigh, the county seat. Karyn Bragman, RDH, BS, nominated Wisher. She wrote, “Wake Smiles is the only dental clinic in Wake County that...

Honor Awards: California RDHAP Focuses on Treating Special Needs Patients

An independent California hygienist who treats special needs patients in her private practice is one of three recipients of the 2021 Today’s RDH Honor Awards. Darla Dale, BSDH, RDHAP, is a 36-year veteran in the profession who opened a dental hygiene practice in Eureka (approximately 100 miles from the Oregon border). She was also the state dental hygiene association’s president...

Honor Awards: Utah Hygienist Strives to Enhance Dental Hygiene Education

A Utah hygienist who creates educational content for dental hygiene educators and students, as well as reaches out in her community by volunteering annually, is one of three recipients for the 2021 Today's RDH Honor Awards. Shelley Brown, MEd, RDH, also has developed a sideline business for treating homebound patients in her state. Melia Lewis, MEd, BSDH, RDH, who nominated Brown...

Coffee: When the Dental Patient Blames High Blood Pressure on Java

The Standard of care in dental offices includes taking a patient's blood pressure. This is almost step one in the dental visit following a thorough medical history surveillance. When a dental patient's blood pressure is noted as "high" by the clinician, the patient may reply with a variety of answers about why. Dental patients are often uneducated about what constitutes...

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...

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...

7 Things Your Dental Hygienist Wish You Knew

Dental hygienists are very grateful to their patients, and they realize patients have chosen a dental office for assistance during the journey of keeping their teeth for a lifetime. It is a hard task for some patients to even show up for appointments due to perhaps anxiety or a dental phobia, a demanding work schedule, or daily life responsibilities. So,...

Oral-Systemic Links: How Does Mitochondrial Dysfunction Interact with Periodontal Disease?

Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell, and we get all our mitochondria from our mothers (from the father in some rare cases). That is the extent of most people’s knowledge about mitochondria, which is really a shame because mitochondria are so much more than just the powerhouse of the cell.1 Mitochondrion (singular, as mitochondria is plural) contributes to cellular...

Licensure Exams: What Truly Conveys a Hygiene Student’s Competency?

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) defines the competencies required for entering the practice of dental hygiene. The four core competencies are health promotion/disease prevention, patient/client care, community involvement, and professional growth and development."3 The five-page ADEA document breaks down these core competencies into five domains. Each domain was then broken into numerous individual competencies. The domain directly associated with...

Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste: Should Dental Hygienists Recommend this Fluoride Alternative?

A common concern among patients during a dental hygiene appointment is the use of fluoride. Whether it is an applied topical fluoride application at the appointment or the use of fluoride toothpaste at home, some patients don’t prefer it. However, fluoride is recommended by the dental professional to reduce caries production and to promote remineralization of a compromised tooth...

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