5 Infection Control Mistakes to Avoid Part 1

Patient safety and infection control are top priorities for hygienists. Surprisingly, there are many dental offices that do not adhere to the latest safety and infection control protocols. Some dental professionals continue to use outdated or ineffective infection control methods because they have always used them, while other dental professionals simply skip over required infection control training. Below are five...

5 More Infection Control Mistakes You Might Not Realize You’re Making

Infection control has always been a top priority for dental hygienists. After all, it is vital to create a safe treatment environment for patients and hygienists alike. However, some dental hygienists mistakenly endanger themselves and their patients by failing to update their protocols and best practices. After writing my previous article on infection control mistakes, I received a plethora...

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...

Common Sense Infection Control Tips

Recently, I had the honor of listening to Dr. John A. Molinari, Ph.D. speak on “Health, Safety, Protection & Infection Control in the Dental Practice: Current Status 2019.” I was interested in attending his seminar to assure my office and I am up-to-date on the latest infection control recommendations. Needless to say, I was expecting a long, semi-boring, but...

How Clean Are the Waterlines in Your Operatory?

Patients come to your dental office because they are looking to improve or maintain their health. Unfortunately, news stories too often emphasize the opposite effect. A patient becomes sick or even hospitalized, apparently because they visited a dental office. One recent report that made national headlines highlighted the tragic story of a seven-year-old girl, who had to have four...

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...

Why Hygienists Should NEVER Treat Patients with Active Oral Herpes

As a dedicated and meticulous dental hygienist, you may find yourself noticing small details that are unnoticed or dismissed by most people. So when a patient presents for her prophy with an active herpes simplex lesion on her lip (herpes labialis), your antennae immediately go up. As you mentally determine the best course of action to take, you calmly begin...

Suction Backflow: How Dental Hygienists Can Prevent Cross-contamination

Many of us drink through a straw. When you take a long, delicious slurp, have you ever noticed that, once you release your lips from the straw, that the remaining liquid trapped inside the cylinder tubing backflows into the cup in which it rests? I have witnessed the process multiple times and even watched my children play insipidly with...

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...

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...

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