Encouragement over Punishment: How Dental Patients Hear Our Oral Health Messages

"Floss more and brush better." This is the dreaded advice patients expect to get scolded with every six months. How many times have we sat there and discussed the benefits of interdental cleaning and demonstrated how to brush? Let's step back and remember what it was like for us before we became oral health preventative specialists. A patient would show...

Understanding the Therapeutic Dental Applications of Botox

Dental professionals are told all too often by patients how much they do not care for their dental visits. For that reason, dentistry continually searches for ways to improve the patient experience with the most pain-free and minimally invasive treatment options. Botox may be commonly associated with smoothing wrinkles, but the treatments are well-positioned to become the standard of...

You Can’t Want It for Them: Raising Expectations of Oral Health

I can still see the faces of the patients who stumped me the most. They are people who I thought were going to be my biggest success stories but weren’t. They presented with halitosis, visible staining and calculus, dark red, inflamed gingiva, and were in just the initial stages of periodontal disease. They were otherwise healthy, successful people, and...

Heart Health: Importance of Pre-Operative Blood Pressure Screenings in the Dental Office

Have you been asked countless times by patients why dental clinicians need to take blood pressure prior to the appointment? Are you working in an office that has yet to establish a patient triage prior to appointments? Understanding the important role that the dental clinician plays in risk assessment protocol can mean life or death to patients. Blood pressure is...

6 Things You Need to Know About Dental Sealants

Today’s society, especially in the U.S., is inundated with sugary liquids posing as healthy or energizing drinks. Many parents pack their children’s lunch boxes with fermentable carbohydrates such as chips and crackers, and sugary liquids such as juice boxes because they are easily accessible, and are non-perishable. Chewable vitamins and chewable sugary snacks that stick in occlusal surfaces are...

Stomatitis: How Dental Professionals Treat and Manage these Conditions

Stomatitis
Stomatitis, also known as oral mucositis, is an inflammation in the mouth that affects the mucous membranes, and the condition arises from either a local stimulation or a systemic provocation.1 The causes of stomatitis are bacterial, fungal, viral, systemic, medications, physical irritants, allergies, irradiation, and chemotherapy, leading to reactions varying from stinging, soreness, red patches, mouth ulcers, blisters, peeling,...

7 Ways to Turn Awkward Appointments into Amazing Ones

We all have that one patient (maybe more) that we see in our schedule and inwardly cringe. Or we have a new patient that makes our head spin with their bizarre behavior. How do you handle that? What do you say? Can we make this appointment go “normally?” Below are seven tips for making awkward appointments run smoothly thereby...

The Priority of OHI Despite Demands of Schedule: Make Time for Patient Education

Whether you recently graduated from dental hygiene school or you have been practicing for 25 years, you may find yourself in survival mode at work from time to time. Many demands are placed on our precious minutes with our patients. Daily practice of dental hygiene may include any or all of the following: radiographs, head and neck exams, periodontal...

Epileptic Patients: A Dental Hygienist’s Guide in Managing & Preventing Seizures

Our brain consists of millions of neurons that are linked by synapses in an elaborate network system, and this process of activity is called neurotransmission. The brain, as is sometimes speculated, houses more connections than there are stars in the Milky Way, and textbooks for years have estimated that there are "100 billion neurons" in the brain. Neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel,...

How to Ensure Patients Actually Use Recommended Oral Health Devices

Many dental hygienists probably give unsolicited advice to random strangers in the oral health aisle of the local superstore. Yes, you know who you are! Why give advice to only random strangers, though? You should be encouraging your own patients to purchase the devices, get them out of the box, and plug them in! Recently, I was having a conversation...

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