Topical vs. Systemic Fluoride: What Patients Need to Know

A study published online in Environmental Health Perspective on July 20, 2012, written by Anna Choi, a research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard, claimed, “Children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low fluoride areas.”1 This publication fueled the fire for the anti-fluoride movement. In March of 2013, another article...

5 Dental Urban Legends: The Tooth be Told

Urban legends are types of modern folklore or fictional stories presented as true and used for entertainment or to serve as cautionary tales. Urban legends were first published in 1968 and are typically complete stories with plots and characters that are “rooted in popular culture” and display elements of “fear, humor, mystery or horror”.1 The urban legends of dentistry...

Veterinary Dental Hygiene: Every Hygienists’ Dream Prophylaxis

It seems in every blog, Facebook group, or gathering of hygienists, someone brings up pet dental. While the end result of clean teeth and healthy tissue is the same for humans and pets, and the instruments are similar, the procedure is quite different. Puppies and kittens begin their dental examinations at the very first preventive appointment, at about 6-8 weeks...

Mentorship in Dental Hygiene

I entered my first job in the dental field, a front desk position, with no prior dental experience. I was anxious, shy, and eager to learn. Almost daily my dentist would say, “You need to educate yourself!” It was irritating to hear at times, but I have since realized the value of that statement and the unassuming mentorship I...

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...

Why I Decided to Become a Dental Hygienist

What did you want to be when you grew up? Throughout childhood, we were asked this question. I assume many of you changed your answer a few times. I love to hear other's stories, see the similarities, and even the differences, of our dental hygiene upbringing. I knew my answer at a very young age, and it never changed....

HPV Link to Oropharyngeal Cancer

Oral pathology has always been one of my favorite subjects to study for continuing education and while in school. Recently, while filling in for a new dentist, she remarked human papillomavirus (HPV) oral cancers were on the rise. So I began to study. I found HPV is a leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers and is thought to cause 70%...

Getting Out of the Op: Advice is Everywhere, but Beware

Googling “dental hygiene burnout” will give you articles, blogs, and videos, all with great ideas and information on how to beat it. This isn’t a new concern in the field of dentistry, especially within dental hygiene. If you are a person who has experienced burnout, doesn’t want to settle for the status quo, or knows their skills can be...

Dear Dr. Oz: A Letter from a Licensed Dental Professional

Dear Dr. Oz, I would like to begin by saying, your show has been very informative over the years, and I appreciate what you are trying to do for patients and healthcare providers. However, I am disappointed in your recent show titled, “Undercover Investigation: Dental Scams: Are You Being Overdiagnosed and Overcharged?” Before I get into the issues I have with...

A Beginner’s Guide to Teledentistry

When you think of your daily work as a dental hygienist, you probably envision yourself moving from patient to patient, scaling teeth, assessing disease, exposing radiographs, educating on oral health, and otherwise preparing patients for a doctor exam. But, there is a new way dentists are conducting business. It’s called Teledentistry. Think of teledentistry as a high-tech way for...

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