Cancer: How the Dental Professional Can Help Fight the Battle

Cancer is a fearfully dreaded word that has the capability of defeating dreams and breaking hearts. It is a word that has encroached in our lives and became far too comfortable. Unfortunately, we all have a common association with this word in some aspect, whether it is a friend, relative, or ourselves that has battled this ugly disease. As dental...

Does Fluoride Varnish Waste Dental Hygienists’ Time?

Dental offices vary widely with the use of fluoride varnish. Some offices assume adults don’t want it, taking into consideration that it is rarely covered by most insurance for adults, and it would be an out-of-pocket expense for the patient. Some offices never even ask the patient whether or not they would like to spend those $40 on their...

Iron-Deficiency Anemia: What Dental Hygienists Need to Know

Every cell in the human body contains iron. Yet, there are only about 4 grams (less than a teaspoon) present in the entire body. Iron’s main role is to transport oxygen throughout the body, and it’s a key player in energy metabolism.2 While liver (with or without onions) may remain the poster-child for iron, other foods such as meats, egg...

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,...

Fact or Fiction: Does Brushing Teeth Prevent Dental Caries?

It is every dental hygienist’s nightmare: The notion that brushing your teeth isn’t effective or needed. We are the promoters of brushing, the lecturers, the connoisseurs of oral hygiene instruction. We spend our days stressing the importance of brushing twice a day for two minutes. We spend our nights reading about new toothpaste or marveling at the newest sonic...

Understanding and Managing Xerostomia

Xerostomia or dry mouth is one of the most undermanaged oral health conditions in medicine and dentistry. This could be due to the lack of diagnosis and the lack of understanding about the oral implications associated with xerostomia. In addition to oral implications, many patients experience a decrease in quality of life that can potentially lead to depression. The...

Implant Maintenance: An Overview

The number of implants placed by dentists and dental specialists is increasing based on a predictable outcome of success. A comprehensive treatment plan includes advising the patient of the risk of failure based on smoking, history of radiotherapy, systemic health issues, and local bone quality and quantity. Peri-implant disease is a combination of poor oral hygiene, placement of a...

What Hygienists Need to Know About Saliva, Xylitol, and Xerostomia

Article sponsored by OraCoat. Unless a person suffers from xerostomia (dry mouth), most people don’t give a second thought to saliva. That is until they are seated in the dental chair and find themselves drowning in it or are suddenly unable to swallow. All joking aside, saliva plays a crucial role in oral health. It aides in teeth remineralization, clears...

Autoimmune Diseases: Making Sense of Dental Patients’ Complaints

When a patient states that they have an autoimmune disease, I admit that generalizations about the diseases enter my mind, but not the specifics of each disease. While I know that immune function is decreased and good home care is especially needed, it may be just enough to know what to look for during the appointment. However, patients will voice...

Oral Cancer: Update on Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco for Dental Hygienists

The Oral Cancer Foundation states the average age of a first-time smokeless tobacco user is just 10 years old. As seen with the recent trends in vaping, tobacco companies consistently use flavoring and fun packaging to entice younger customers to buy products that are ultimately addictive and damaging to their health. Smokeless tobacco users absorb two to three times the...

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