Stressful Times: The Role of Dental Hygienists in Suicide Awareness

Recent world events have created an extremely stressful situation for dental professionals. The cumulative tension of income loss, homeschooling, isolation, lack of essential items, partner power struggles, being inundated with new safety information, and returning to work with stringent infection control mandates may become unendurable for many. Some of us are returning to work and adjusting to the “new normal.”...

An Open Letter from your Dental Hygienist on Fluoride and IQ

A study and subsequent articles last year cited lower IQ measurements for children whose mothers ingested fluoride during pregnancy, creating a paranoid frenzy among parents. The article stated that the ingestion of fluoridated water by an expectant mother decreased the IQ of the child by 2.5 points on a 200-point IQ test scale.1 The study in question is deeply flawed....

Dental Coding: Finding Solutions for Ideal Dental Treatment Plans

One of the most challenging tasks dental hygienists face is taking the patient’s clinical diagnosis and trying to make it fit into an insurance code to successfully gain payment. Too often, the front office states that a code won’t prompt payment or that the insurance won’t cover a procedure. One philosophy that we can follow is to treat patients based...

Xerostomia and Periodontal Disease: How to Customize Your Treatment Approaches

Xerostomia can be described as a “subjective sensation of oral dryness”1 with numerous causes. The most common are as a side effect from certain medications, Sjogren’s syndrome and other autoimmune disorders, and radiation therapy.1 Older patients are generally taking more medications, and so we tend to see xerostomia in this population more frequently than any other. However, anyone taking medications...

Is Smokeless Tobacco Safer than Cigarettes?

As if cigarettes isn’t enough of a battle there is also smokeless tobacco (SLT) that plagues the population. It appears that people choose this method because it is slightly more discreet and is not accompanied by an odor. Some admit to transitioning to smokeless tobacco as a method to cease cigarette smoking. Many think SLT is a safer alternative...

8 Fun Dental History Facts

Dentistry does not always have to be boring! Below I have found some fun facts, ancient facts, and interesting facts about dentistry. In 1866, Lucy Beaman Hobbs became the first licensed female dentist. Lucy had boarded with a physician while teaching, which sparked her interest in medicine. She was rejected from medical school but was encouraged to pursue dentistry. Jonathan Taft,...

Do Low Vitamin D Levels Have an Association with Oral Disease?

Hygienists are known for their preventive role in health care. We often pride ourselves on being one of the only health-care providers who prevent disease and do not just treat it. Many hygienists like the idea of being able to tweak diets and home care to help their patients remain healthy and disease-free. One of the supplements often discussed by...

Instrument Sharpening by the RDH: The How and Why

I can almost vouch with utmost certainty that one of the most exhilarating events for a dental hygienist is receiving and opening brand-new instruments. The sheer knowledge of knowing that new instruments pack a sharp edge is sure to have every hygienist playing favoritism among the instruments in their stash − at least until the edges become dull. While sharp...

Financial Plan for Temp Hygienists to Help Prepare for Tough Times

Living on an irregular income as a temporary, commission-based, or even hourly dental hygienist can be tricky. Your income can fluctuate drastically, leaving you feeling uncertain about your finances and possibly even living paycheck to paycheck. In today's volatile economy, no one wants to be left struggling if something happens to their steady paycheck. Before I set out on my...

Understanding the Role of Juniper Berry Extract in Toothpaste

During my first year of hygiene school, I went home to spend Christmas with my family. Among my gifts was a package from an exchange student who my parents hosted in 2015. Inside the package were numerous gifts, but the ones that caught my attention were the thin tubes of toothpaste. One tube seemed like a traditional mint whitening paste,...

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