National Dental Hygiene Month: Recognizing Our Hygiene Stars

At Smiles Dental, our hygienists are our super stars, and we are thrilled to honor and recognize them during National Dental Hygiene Month, which is the month of October! This year is especially exciting because it is the 100 year anniversary of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, and we are excited to celebrate by explaining and busting the myths generally associated with dental hygienists.

Myth No. 1: All hygienists do is nag about flossing.
Hygienists love it when patients floss, but many patients skip that step in their oral hygiene routine. They strongly recommend flossing because if you do not, it can be very dangerous and unhealthy. Refusing to floss can lead to oral diseases, like periodontal disease. We care about you, your smile, and your oral health, and we want to make sure we educate you on the importance of flossing. We never want to nag, but we do want to teach you about flossing and achieving a healthy, beautiful smile.

Myth No. 2: Anyone can be a hygienist.
Anyone can be a hygienist, as long as they complete the required steps. First, you need to be accepted into an accredited college that has a dental hygiene program. Then, you will need to keep up good grades and attend all your classes. Second, once you earn your degree, you will need to pass many tests, including national board exams, written and clinical regional exams, and written state exams. After you pass all of these tests, you will need to apply for a license with the Board of Dentistry before you provide any type of professional patient care.

Myth No. 3: Hygienists only clean teeth.
Cleaning teeth is a very important job for the hygienists, but it is not all they do in a day’s work. They proudly do the following:

• Review medical history
• Give oral hygiene instructions
• Suggest dental care products to use at home
• Take dental X-rays
• Teach patients
• Welcome new patients
• Administer anesthetics
• Comfort the patients
• Answer questions
• Reduce anxiety
• Apply fluoride treatments
• Place sealants
• Provide a pleasant, friendly, and personalized conversation
• Learn more each day to provide the best care possible

Myth No. 4: Your pain is the hygienists’ gain.
Our hygienists never want to cause you any pain. Many people associate the dental office, dentists, and hygienists with pain and discomfort, but our team at Smiles Dental strives to give you and your family members a comfortable and positive dental experience. We believe that taking care of your oral cavity should be painless and fun.