National Dental Hygiene Month! What Does It Take to Be a Hygienist?
October is National Dental Hygiene Month and we are lucky to have an amazing team of dental hygienists at Falmouth Dental Arts: Diann, Kelly, Jean, Erin, Alex, and our newest addition Leigha!
From a patient perspective, this incredible group of compassionate and knowledgeable healthcare professionals are the people you interact with most: they perform your routine check-ups and cleanings, and help your teeth get squeaky clean for the dentist’s review. They also love to educate patients so you are empowered to make the best choices for your unique dental needs.
So, what does it take to be a dental hygienist? What are some of the tricks-of-the-trade? To celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month, we asked Ashley from our team of phenomenal hygienists to share a little more about what they do.
1.What sort of school and training is required to be a dental hygienist?
Ashley: Dental hygienists must attend accredited dental school or university majoring in Dental Hygiene. The majority of current programs take four years to complete, with graduates receiving a bachelor’s degree. Upon receiving their degree, hygienists are eligible to take a series of board exams in order to become licensed and to work in a dental office.
2. What is your favorite part of your job?
Ashley: One of the best parts of being a dental hygienist is building connections and relationships with our patients. Learning about our patients not only makes our appointments fun and engaging but also helps us make recommendations that work with their lifestyle. We love our patients!
3. What is something most people don’t know about being a hygienist?
Ashley: Choosing a career in Dental Hygiene is a commitment to life-long learning. Technologies and care philosophies are always evolving which means we as providers are constantly engaging in education and professional development to ensure we are providing “crest of the wave” care. In fact, we are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years as part maintaining an active license in the state of Maine.
4. What is your favorite dental product?
Ashley: The electric toothbrush. It is more effective at removing plaque than a manual toothbrush and stimulates the gum tissue in order to promote gum health. It enhances the homecare routine especially for those with dexterity issues and braces.
5. What is your #1 dental tip for patients?
Ashley: Simple, FLOSS. Flossing daily can prevent a myriad of dental and overall health issues. Who knew a piece of string could have such an impact on overall health?!
7. What is the best part of being a hygienist at Falmouth Dental Arts?
Ashley: Collectively, one of the most rewarding elements of being a hygienist at Falmouth Dental Arts is our whole-body approach to dental care. We recognize the impact of oral health on overall health and collaborate with our patients to create an individualized care plan. This approach is empowering and motivating for both us as hygienists and for the patient. As a result, treatment success is increased. It’s very rewarding!
Thank you, Ashley!
And thank you to all of our outstanding dental hygienists — Diann, Kelly, Jean, Erin, Alex, and Leigha! If you have more questions for our team about your oral health care, or need to schedule your next appointment, give our office a call at 207.781.5900.