Dental hygienists do a lot more for patients than might first meet the eye. Along with plaque removal, sealant application, and other clinical duties, they are also charged with providing oral health education to their patients. Here, Eastern International College takes a closer look at the educational nuances of this profession and how hygienists can influence the dental knowledge of their community.
Doubling as a Teacher
First and foremost, dental hygienists are patient educators and advocates of oral health. Like any good teacher, the most successful ones are detail-oriented, have superior communication skills, and are empathetic towards the needs and beliefs of every patient. These qualities come in handy when relaying information about a patient’s oral health conditions and teaching how to keep their mouths in pristine condition between visits.
Lessons They Teach
Like all healthcare practitioners, dental hygienists aim to ensure patients are equipped with the tools to lead a happy, healthy life. To do this, hygienists may provide oral health education about the following:
It’s common knowledge to brush and floss at least twice per day, but dental hygienists are constantly educating patients on the proper techniques for doing so. For instance, tooth brushing should last for two entire minutes, while a clean piece of floss must be used for each gap to prevent the spread of germs. Tips like these go a long way in helping patients prevent periodontal disease and other detrimental conditions.
Dental Care Products
Hygienists can also teach patients about the dental tools that would be most beneficial for them. Both mechanical and electric toothbrushes have the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp of approval, so hygienists can work with their patients to determine their best, most cost-effective choice. They can also set patients up for success by informing them about the best tartar or gingivitis-fighting toothpaste options on the market.
Hygienists may even educate about the relationship between diet and oral health. For example, patients may not be aware that plaque buildup on their teeth can convert sugars into enamel-dissolving acids. By teaching them about how different foods and drinks can affect their mouths, hygienists can help patients develop the most favorable diets possible.
Becoming a Successful Educator
These are just a few of the reasons why dental hygienists are regarded as oral health educators and experts in their communities. But to reach this level of success, you must receive the proper foundation through accredited degree programs, like the ones offered at Eastern International College. You can jump-start your career as a dental hygienist by enrolling in our Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene (BSDH) – CODA Accredited Three Year Program degree program, or you can further your education by taking on our online Dental Hygiene Bachelor of Science Degree Online Completion Program.
Eastern International College is fully equipped to prepare you for a future as a dental hygienist. Not only can we help you become a knowledgeable practitioner, but our curriculum will provide you with the skills needed to provide important oral health education to your future patients. For more information, schedule a visit on our Jersey City campus or contact our admissions specialists. If you’re ready to take the next step on your educational journey, apply today.