As a dental hygienist, I’m often asked by patients, family members and friends, “How do you do what you do?” I think to myself, well it’s not that bad. However, the things I see in my dental chair certainly substantiate their wonderment.
Some patients show up without brushing their teeth, claiming that they “want to get their money’s worth”. Thus, chunks of food particles must be meticulously removed so that enamel can be accessed to properly provide a thorough prophylaxis.
Do patients think we enjoy wallowing in spit and plaque and all that yucky stuff? No sir ree bob. That, my friend, is fake news.
Here are other BS facts about dental hygienists that everyone thinks are true:
- We love stinky teeth. Not really. Dental hygienists appreciate it when patients brush their teeth before an appointment.
- We got our certificate at night school. Actually, dental hygienists earn a diploma and go to college for nearly 4 years where we study science, including microbiology, psychology, tooth morphology and more.
- Our career is easy. It is challenging mentally and physically. We bend over all day and sometimes in positions shaped like a letter C. Dental hygiene is very hard on the neck, back and arms.
- Dental hygienists don’t have to take an exam. Quite the contrary, dental hygienists take multiple board exams, written and practical, to get their license.
- Dental hygienists only know about teeth. Nope. Because the mouth is connected to the body as a whole, dental hygienists are educated in the same science of other medical professionals so that we can properly help manage all health needs. We screen and prevent systemic health and treat oral health related disease.
- You are just a mouth so open up. Wrong again. Our patients become like family to us and we can’t wait to see you!
- Dental hygienists are just tooth cleaners. No siree! We are passionate, educated health care professionals whose desire it is to make a difference by treating each and every patient individually, making them comfortable and keeping their experience positive.
- Every patient is treated like a number. Wrrrrrong! Each patient is treated according to their needs. This may or may not include providing a fluoride treatment, radiographs, toothbrush recommendations and more.
Every career has it’s ups and downs. Some people are better suited for particular careers. My husband owns and operates a restaurant and loves it. Me, not too much. I will stick with my chosen career.
Dental hygienists are healthcare professionals
I have said before, dental hygiene is more than simply cleaning teeth. We monitor your overall health by taking blood pressure, taking measurements of your gums and tissues to help us discern your level of health. The mouth is very telling when it comes to determining your overall health. In a snapshot, the health of a person is gathered simply by looking in the mouth.
How healthy is your mouth? Do your gums bleed when you brush? They shouldn’t. If they do, try brushing at least twice a day with a fresh toothbrush.
Oooooh, how about a fresh toothbrush?
A fresh toothbrush is a toothbrush that has been replaced at least every 3-6 months. Have you considered a subscription service to receive a fresh toothbrush on a regular basis? Here is an awesome subscription toothbrush service that will provide you with a fresh toothbrush to help keep your oral health spectacularly fresh:
Your dentist is always telling you, you should buy an electric toothbrush.
But we get it – the best electric toothbrushes are traditionally expensive. Buying replacement heads is annoying. And those charging stations – no one needs ugly clutter on their countertops.
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