Bridging the Gap Between Medical and Dental Health of Our Diabetic Patients

The bridge between medical and dental health is a hot topic and one we as dental hygienists cannot ignore! A lot is being done to try to build this bridge and shorten this gap, particularly with one of the most well-known and direct oral-systemic connections – diabetes and oral health. Our hygiene profession and the care we provide our...

Comprehensive Health History: Are You Doing a Thorough Review?

As dental hygienists, we are all educated on the importance of obtaining a thorough health history on our patients. Oral health can affect overall health and vice versa. A thorough health history also allows us to minimize risks associated with treating our patients and can help prepare and possibly predict, for a medical emergency. However, with appointment times being...

How to Build Relationships with Your Patients

In any healthcare setting, you are interacting with different types of people. Clinically, as dental professionals, you are working with a community of many different personality types. Because of a dental hygienist's one-on-one interaction with patients, it is crucial to make a connection. Making professional relationships with patients will only improve the overall care and treatment experience. Having relationships with...

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...

Why Hygienists Should Take the Blood Pressure of EVERY Patient

Let me ask you a question: how many of you take blood pressure readings on your patients before beginning treatment? For those of you who take blood pressure readings on your patients, bravo to you! You have my respect; you may now skip the rest of this article, pass Go, and collect $200. But for those of you who...

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...

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