Dental Appliances: Tips to Ensuring Patient Safety while Ensuring Thorough Cleaning

The risk associated with cross-contamination while cleaning dental appliances is a topic that has garnered more attention in recent years. During a dental hygiene appointment, we are tasked with thoroughly cleaning our patients’ night guards, orthodontic appliances, and whitening trays at intermittent times throughout the day. While the hygiene appointment is a balancing act, and we are often watching the...

Mask Selection: What the Dental Professional Should Know Post-COVID-19

Editor's Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up-to-date at the time of original article publication (June 20, 2020), but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit coronavirus.gov for the latest news and information on COVID-19. Masks have long...

The Potential Use of Environmentally Friendly PPE in Dental Hygiene

Alternative solutions for environmentally friendly personal protective equipment (PPE) are needed in order to reduce the amount of medical waste created by dental offices. This can start with dental hygienists who have always had a public health advocacy role since the profession's inception. Environmental health and safety are included within that realm of public health for dental hygienists. The American...

Hydrogen Peroxide Pre-rinse during COVID: Have We Been Misled?

Hygiene schools teach the importance of preprocedural rinses (PPMR), viewing it as a method for lowering the bacterial load and preventing the spread of disease/microorganisms. When the pandemic descended upon us, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) once again pushed the narrative that preprocedural rinses, specifically hydrogen peroxide, were necessary and beneficial to...

Dentistry’s Aerosols: Giving the Dangerous Bugs the Attention they Deserve

Dental professionals must be aware of the potential risks involved within the dental clinic, educate themselves to prevent contamination, and protect all persons within their environment. The production of aerosols and splatter in dentistry is one of the biggest concerns about the spread of infection among both dental professionals and their patients. With over 700 species of bacteria,1 the mouth...

Revisiting Standard Precautions to be Prepared for COVID-19 Advisories

Editor's Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up-to-date at the time of publication, but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit https://www.coronavirus.gov/ for the latest news and information on COVID-19. If you have watched TV, listened to the radio,...

Ventilation: Safely Control Flow of Bioaerosols in Dental Operatories

Editor's Note: Information about COVID-19 is changing on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. We have made every attempt to ensure this article is up-to-date at the time of original article publication (June 28, 2020), but with the rapid changes occurring, some information may have changed since publication. Please visit coronavirus.gov for the latest news and information on COVID-19. The worldwide spread...

OSHA’s Surprise Visits: Tips for Dental Offices to be Prepared

Prior to the pandemic, during a normal hectic workday at my office, the local component of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) dropped in for a surprise visit. I think it is safe to say that this is one of the most dreaded moments by dental professionals in a dental office. While many offices go their entire business...

We Need to Talk About Hand Hygiene

Let’s take a quick break from teeth and all things dental for a moment and talk about our hands. More specifically, let’s talk about good hand hygiene and why we need to be talking about it. When I was a wee dental hygiene student, handwashing was a very big deal. The first thing we had to do upon entering the...

ASTM Mask Levels: What Should Dental Hygienists Wear?

There are a ton of different types of masks on the market. Dental masks vary in level, color and patterns, fit, comfort, and price. However, are we buying and using the correct mask for the procedures we are performing daily? As dental professionals, mask level is not something that is always thought about routinely. Some may not even realize...

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