The Magic of Ethics when Patients Decline Fluoride

Once upon a dental chair, a magical hygienist once turned every quick “no” on fluoride into a golden and exuberant “YES!” At least in fairy tales… In reality, patients don’t always say “yes,” and hygienists are often faced with some who are emphatic in their “no” response. So, what magic exists to break through the spell of such a...

4 Things to Consider When Recommending a Toothbrush

Article sponsored by quip. As dental hygienists, we all know we should be individualizing our home care recommendations. Whether it be a toothbrush, interdental cleaner, or other home care product, just because we personally love a certain product for our own use, doesn’t mean all patients should be instructed to use said product. When considering which toothbrush to recommend we need...

Health History Update: How to Keep from Getting Stuck in “The Script”

Treating a patient in the clinical setting is so much more than just sitting down and scaling teeth. There are pockets to measure, small talk to be made, infection control protocol to maintain, educational information to pass along, a bit of detective work/patient assessment, radiographs to expose, treatment plans to discuss, consent to obtain for additional services, and that’s...

How Dental Hygienists Can Help Patients with Dental Phobias

How many times a week do you hear the phrases, “I hate the dentist, I always dread coming here, I would rather be somewhere else,” or some other phrase indicating the patient highly dislikes being at the dental office, which includes your operatory? When hearing these phrases, we can either become offended at the statement, and take it personally,...

Myofunctional Therapy: Expanding Dental Intervention

It seems that in the past, the main reason to refer a patient to a therapist was for a tongue thrust. We now have a wide variety of symptoms we need to be looking for which can be treated by a Myofunctional Therapist that can greatly improve our patients’ quality of life. Things such as malocclusion, long-term thumb sucking,...

The Dental Hygiene Revolution: Reflect, Research, Take Action vs. Deflect, Accept, Do Nothing

We reflect, research, and take action on a daily basis in our clinical dental hygiene operatories. Sometimes the opposite is true of us as well; we deflect, accept, and do nothing. The latter is by far the easier route, but perhaps the most frustrating and least fulfilling. What I would like to focus on is the former, also known...

Bridging the Gap between Medicine and Dentistry

The question, “What does my blood pressure have to do with my teeth?” is likely one dental hygienists who take blood pressure have heard. As dental hygienists, we realize the simple answer to this question is a lot; specifically safety while under our treatment and overall health of the patient. Many clinicians have had cases of referring a patient...

More than Just Teeth: A Hygienist’s Journey to Patient Satisfaction

Landing my first dental hygiene job was a breeze. I had just graduated from the dental hygiene program and was excitedly looking for a position to jumpstart my career. The third office I walked in to hired me on the spot after I handed them my very green resume. I was beyond perplexed but also extremely ecstatic. I smiled...

Behcet’s Disease: What Dental Hygienists Should Know & Look For

Behcet’s disease is an autoimmune disorder which attacks the blood vessels and creates inflammation. “It is known as a multisystem inflammatory disorder characterized by ulcers affecting the mouth and genitals, various skin lesions, and abnormalities affecting the eyes.3” Behcet's disease is most commonly found in Japan, China, Turkey, and Iran, also known as the “Old Silk Route;” it is...

Ankyloglossia: Please Release Me!

Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue-tie, is a congenital anomaly that may severely restrict the tongue’s range of motion. It is caused by an abnormally thick, short lingual frenulum which tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. Severe tongue-ties are usually discovered at birth as it interferes with normal breast-feeding.1 If not discovered at birth...

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