How to Make a Difference with Refugee Dental Care

The United States, throughout history, has been a refuge for those fleeing countries where the political climate or other circumstances has made living there unsafe. Although the United States’ current political climate is such that we are unsure just how many refugees will continue to be welcomed into our country, as dental professionals we must be aware of the...

Gingival Recession: When Surgical Options Should be Considered Instead of Patient Education

Gingival recession is something most of us see in our patients’ on a daily basis. It is defined as the apical migration of gingiva,1 which can cause various problems for our patients that include sensitivity, periodontal complications, esthetic concerns, and decay. Gingival recession results from many different factors such as patient habits (brushing too hard/using the wrong technique, picking...

The Importance of Knowing a Patient’s Health History (And How to Simplify the Process)

At my current office, I am probably considered a health history nag, but I am okay with that! I would prefer to be known for this because patients are then actively involved in their dental care when they participate in updating their health history at EVERY appointment. When hygienists involve patients this way, we are able to educate patients...

Dedication to Patient Education

In the world of dentistry, being a hygienist requires you to be the best dental professional you can possibly be to care for your patients to the highest standards. Throughout my career, the things that have encompassed serving my patients to the highest standards have been educating my patients at EVERY appointment, thoroughly reviewing medical history in order to...

The Happy Visit: How to Treat a Child at Their First Dental Appointment

Note: This is Part 2 of Debbi Viger’s series, Special Needs: Everyone Has Special Needs. Read Part 1 here. If every patient is to be treated as special, young children need to be treated as super special! It is most important that young children learn to love the dental office. We can eliminate fear and apprehension by setting the future of...

Botox Isn’t Just for Wrinkles Anymore: A Hygienist’s Experience with TMJ Treatment

Do you clench or grind your teeth? Wake up with headaches or stiff, tight muscles in your face? So many people are affected by the daily stress of life which can lead to clenching and grinding. Improper occlusion or airway issues can lead to bruxism and TMJ issues. Too much caffeine or too much gum chewing can lead to...

Drug Addiction: The Importance of Patient Disclosure before Dental Treatment

Working for a Federal Qualified Health Center (FQHC) is rewarding, yet the variety of patients I serve can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. Patients I see regularly range from drug and alcohol addicts, special needs, juvenile delinquents, patients who are starting over after being in prison, AIDS/HIV, and more. Each patient is unique and has a set of health...

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...

Modifying Patient Behavior Remains One of Dental Hygiene’s Primary Objectives

Change is inevitable. Without change, there is no movement forward. The process of change is not always an easy one. As primary health-care providers, dental hygienists are known as health promotion specialists and behavior change motivators. Dr. Alfred Fones originally developed the profession of dental hygiene to be educators and clinicians. Dr. Fones believed in the value of health education...

Case Study: Xylitol’s Role in the 4Ds of Smoking Cessation

Xylitol has resurfaced in recent years as a natural sugar (derived from birch bark, corn cob, raspberries, and even strawberries) that inhibits bacterial repopulation in the oral cavity. We are seeing it added to toothpaste, fluoride varnishes, gum, and mints and promoted to aid improved oral health. We have been made aware of its xerostomia benefits, as well as nasal...

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Practices

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