Being a dental hygienist is all about lending a helping hand to those in need or better oral care. Most people just think of us as people that just clean teeth but in reality we’re examiners, educators, and usually the first step to prevention among the dental civilization. We examine the general health for any potential diseases , we educate them on the do’s and don’ts of oral hygiene care, we help them prevent any progression of diseases, and we help prevent of the occurrence of any new diseases. The most important of all is education.
I have helped educate small children by way of the Headstart Program. These children were between the ages of 6-11 years old and they were very eager to learn about their teeth. Most of them were already very concerned about their teeth and knew what cavities were and how many teeth they had lost and gained. There’s nothing better than educating our future and giving them the knowledge to pass on to their friends and family members. Knowledge is truly a powerful thing.
I have also had the opportunity to educate Intellectually Disabled individuals. I have taught them how to brush their teeth and floss using models. They were just as eager as the children and had several questions for me, such as
- Which foods cause cavities?
- How long do you brush your teeth?
- Why is it important to brush your teeth and so on