QUIZ: Test Your Periodontitis Knowledge

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Why Dental X-rays Are Needed & Are Less Radiation than You Think

For some, a dental appointment is a fearfully, dreaded appointment; while others don’t mind or even eagerly anticipate the appointment. However, no matter which side of the fence you are on it seems to be a mutual consensus that no one enjoys dental X-rays, and many are confused why they are even necessary. Often, dental professionals are questioned about...

Ask Kara RDH: Do I really need to sterilize slow-speed handpieces after every patient?

I read one of your articles regarding infection control. Do slow-speed handpieces really need to be sterilized after every patient when using a disposable prophy angles? We are currently sterilizing at the end of each workday. Yes, slow-speed handpieces must be heat-sterilized in between every patient. Even though you use disposable prophy angles, and slow-speed handpieces are considered semi-critical devices,...

Teething Necklaces: Are They Worth the Risk?

I am a veteran dental hygienist. I am also a mother and a grandmother, and I like the title of “Memaw” much better. I know exactly how parents feel when a child is experiencing pain or discomfort. Parents want solutions and answers on how to alleviate or prevent the pain, especially when infants and small children are unable to...

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...

Interview: A Hygienist’s Experience with Cetacaine Liquid Topical Anesthetic

Article sponsored by Cetylite. Cherie Wink, RDH was not a paid endorser for this article. Cetacaine Liquid (Benzocaine 14%, Butamben 2%, Tetracaine HCl 2%), the prescription topical anesthetic from Cetylite, is frequently recommended as a pain control option for procedures such as scaling and root planing. Cetacaine can be placed into periodontal pockets to provide 30 to 60 minutes of...

QUIZ: Test Your Loupes & Ergonomics Knowledge!

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What Hygienists Need to Know About Saliva, Xylitol, and Xerostomia

Article sponsored by OraCoat. Unless a person suffers from xerostomia (dry mouth), most people don’t give a second thought to saliva. That is until they are seated in the dental chair and find themselves drowning in it or are suddenly unable to swallow. All joking aside, saliva plays a crucial role in oral health. It aides in teeth remineralization, clears...

Keeping the Schedule Filled: Battling the Saga of Appointment No Shows

I think since the dawn of civilization, there has been a problem in dental offices that has yet to be solved. Come on! You know what I’m talking about! Keeping the dental hygiene schedules full and productive! You can seemingly have the perfect day scheduled when you begin the day fresh-faced at 8 a.m. But, by 9 o’clock, you have...

How to Determine if a Patient Prefers a Chatty or Quiet Hygienist

Most career paths have a stereotype associated with them, which is usually untrue. For example, doctors are known for having "chicken scratch" handwriting. Librarians are known as little, old ladies with glasses, and police officers are rumored to love donuts. While these stereotypes were meant to be humorous, they don't define the careers. Several years ago, before I was even...

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