Have You Ever Thought Of Being A Dental Hygienist? The Real Smile Keepers!

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?One more piece of chocolate and the big insect is going to come and steal all your teeth.? We?ve grown up with our parents constantly teaching us about dental hygiene in such creative ways. But avoiding chocolates isn?t the only measure you must take for protecting your teeth. There are professional oral hygienists who specialize in this area only to provide you with correct guidelines. Let?s know more.

WHAT IS DENTAL/ORAL HYGIENE?

Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping one's mouth clean and free of disease and other problems (e.g. bad breath) by regular brushing of the teeth (dental hygiene) and cleaning between the teeth. It is important that oral hygiene is carried out on a regular basis to enable the prevention of dental disease and bad breath. The most common types of dental diseases are tooth decay (cavities, dental caries) and gum diseases, including gingivitis, and periodontitis.

General guidelines suggest brushing twice a day: after breakfast and before going to bed, but ideally the mouth would be cleaned after every meal. Cleaning between the teeth is called interdental cleaning and is as important as tooth brushing. This is because a toothbrush cannot reach between the teeth and therefore only removes about 50% of plaque off the surface. There are many tools to clean between the teeth, including floss and interdental brushes; it is up to each individual to choose which tool he or she prefers to use.

Sometimes white or straight teeth are associated with oral hygiene, but a hygienic mouth may have stained teeth and/or crooked teeth. For appearance reasons, people may seek out teeth whitening and orthodontics.

WHO IS A DENTAL HYGIENIST?

A dental hygienist or oral hygienist is a licensed dental professional, registered with a dental association or regulatory body within their country of practice. Prior to completing clinical and written board examinations, registered dental hygienists must have either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene from an accredited college or university. Once registered, hygienists are primary healthcare professionals who work independently of or alongside Dentists and other dental professionals to provide full oral health care. They have the training and education that focus on and specialize in the prevention and treatment of many oral diseases.

Dental hygienists have a specific scope of clinical procedures they provide to their patients. They assess a patient's condition in order to offer patient-specific preventive and educational services to promote and maintain good oral health. A major role of a dental hygienist is to perform periodontal therapy which includes things such periodontal charting, periodontal debridement (scaling and root planing), prophylaxis (preventing disease) or periodontal maintenance procedures for patients with periodontal disease. The use of therapeutic methods assists their patients in controlling oral disease while providing tailored treatment plans that emphasize the importance of behavioral changes. Some dental hygienists are licensed to administer local anesthesia and perform dental radiography. Dental hygienists are also the primary resource for oral cancer screening and prevention. In addition to these procedures, hygienists may take intraoral radiographs, apply dental sealants, administer topical fluoride, and provide patient-specific oral hygiene instruction.

Dental hygienists work in a range of dental settings, from independent, private, or specialist practices to the public sector. Dental hygienists work together with dentists, dental therapists, oral health therapists as well as other dental professionals. Dental hygienists aim to work inter-professionally to provide holistic oral health care in the best interest of their patients. Dental hygienists also offer expertise in their field and can provide a dental hygiene diagnosis, which is an integral component of the comprehensive dental diagnosis.

WHAT ARE THE DUTIES OF A DENTAL HYGIENIST?

? Dental hygienists typically do the following:

? Remove tartar, stains, and plaque from teeth

? Apply sealants and fluorides to help protect teeth

? Take and develop dental x rays

? Assess patients' oral health and report findings to dentists

? Document patient care and treatment plans

? Educate patients about oral hygiene techniques, such as how to brush and floss correctly

Dental hygienists use many types of tools to do their job. They clean and polish teeth with hand, power, and ultrasonic tools. In some cases, they use lasers. Hygienists remove stains with an air-polishing device, which sprays a combination of air, water, and baking soda. They polish teeth with a powered tool that works like an automatic toothbrush. Hygienists use x-ray machines to take pictures to check for tooth or jaw problems. Some states allow hygienists with additional training, sometimes called dental therapists, to work with an expanded scope of practice.

Dental hygienists help patients develop and maintain good oral health. For example, they may explain the relationship between diet and oral health. They may also give advice to patients on how to select toothbrushes and other oral care devices.

The tasks hygienists may perform, and the extent to which they must be supervised by a dentist, vary by state and by the setting in which the dental hygienist works. For example, some states allow hygienists to diagnose certain health problems independently of a dentist.

WHAT IS THE EDUCATION NEEDED?

Dental hygienists typically need an associate's degree in dental hygiene. Bachelor's and master's degree programs in dental hygiene also are available but are less common. A bachelor's or master's degree usually is required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.

Dental hygiene programs are commonly found in community colleges, technical schools, and universities. In 2017, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, part of the American Dental Association, accredited more than 300 dental hygiene programs.

Programs typically take 3 years to complete and offer laboratory, clinical, and classroom instruction. Areas of study include physiology, nutrition, radiography, pathology, medical ethics, anatomy, patient management, and periodontics, which is the study of gum disease. High school students interested in becoming dental hygienists should take courses in biology, chemistry, and math. Most dental hygiene programs also require applicants to complete prerequisites, which often include college-level courses. Specific requirements vary by school.

TOP INSTITUTES FOR THE STUDY OF DENTAL HYGIENE

? Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh

? Bapuji Dental College and Hospital in Karnataka

? Buddha Institute of Dental Sciences and Hospital in Patna

? Himachal Institute of Dental Sciences in Sirmaur

? King George's Medical University - [KGMU] ...

? Tamilnadu Government Dental College and Hospital - [TNGDCH] ...

? Maitri College of Dentistry and Research Centre - [MCDRC] ...

? Maharishi Markandeshwar College of Dental Sciences and Research. ...

? DJ College of Dental Sciences and Research.

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