This Blog is all about sharing my current perspective on all things "Dental Hygiene" related and is intended for dental professionals.
My goal is to help dental enthusiasts learn, grow, get-involved, and love their profession as much as possible!
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Oral Health Information and Practice: It's never too early!
Dental Professionals should aim to teach
soon-to-be parents about oral hygiene practices for their new baby even before
It is common practice to make time
to discuss the oral health status of a mother during pregnancy. As
we are all familiar with the risks associated with poor oral health and
pregnancy. However, we also need to make time to discuss the oral hygiene
practices for the baby when he or she arrives.
even though infants do not have teeth they still need to keep their mouth
clean, is a critical piece of communication. Educating on the earlier the oral
hygiene habits are formed it can actually hep decrease the risk for future
dental cavities is a motivating factor.
This is hard
for parents to wrap their head around because commonly they feel there is no
risk if their baby does not have teeth. We need to explain to parents the
biofilm (microscopic) that commonly appears on teeth can also accumulate on the
tongue and gums where the soon-to-be teeth will be popping out.
about creating an environment that is ready for those little pearly whites.
Parents need to understand as that first tooth erupts it's at risk for dental
caries development. When the practice of cleaning the mouth starts right from
birth it allows for a smooth transition when the teeth appear and the time is
needed in the oral cavity to clean the teeth.
Using a soft
damp clot or specialized finger brush to wipe the baby's mouth are perfect tools to get around the gums, roof of the mouth, and cheeks. Having two parents work
together when possible can be very helpful when using the knee-to-knee
technique. This is something we can demonstrate for the parents right inside
our operatories. This involves having two adults sit facing each other with
knees touching and having baby lay across the legs. It creates a great visual field for
one of the adults and aids in child comfort.
would be to have parents understand the importance of wiping the mouth after
each feeding or at least two times daily. When parents start to notice teeth
appear its imperative the cleaning habits are formed. It's only natural
the more involved the parents are at home with oral care the higher chance for
compliance during an oral health assessment at the dental office.
conversation about when to expect teeth to erupt can lead to less surprises for
the parents. Also letting them know as soon as the first tooth erupts this is
when they can start to use a small soft bristled brush. For young children
under 3 years of age the introduction of a specific toothpaste (ie. fluoride
and/or 25% xylitol) will depend on the current risk factors, and professional
Lastly, we as
dental professionals need to continue to promote and educate the public on
taking their baby's to a dental provider for an assessment by their first
birthday. As you can see there are many key points we need to review with
parents, to ensure the child's oral heath starts off in the right
This is where
we as dental professionals can make one of the greatest impacts within our
I've spent over 10 years of my career being part of the CDHO quality assurance program, as a peer assessor. From 2006 - 2017.
I know the quality assurance audit and submission process has it's ups and downs, but overall I think we can all agree there has been some great improvements over the years. The changes are all about making it a smooth and transparent process to meet the needs of registrants.
I have recently read on a dental hygiene network/social media platform that some RDH 's in Ontario are not happy with the QA program. They are challenging the need for such a rigorous process. I can honestly say out of the hundreds of QA records I have assessed there has been a need for some registrants to make changes, in order to meet standards of practice. There has also been essential learning that has occurred due to the QA process. It's been shown to work and benefits the professional and in-turn the public.
Working towards not just maintaining a professional co…
What if you had the chance to change someone's life, provide services to those in need, be part of raising awareness for access to care issues across our country, while highlighting the role of the dental hygienist as a key oral health care provider.
This is truly what "Gift from the Heart" is all about.
It's about using our platform, our voice and and our skills as registered dental hygienists to give back to the community and make a difference in oral health and general health outcomes.
Each province across Canada is dealing with a variety of access to care issues, some more complex than others. However, the reality is Canadians of all ages are not able to access regular dental care. GFTH was created to meet the needs of these people and fill the gap that exists.
As dental hygienists we can provide a variety of preventative services, but even more importantly we can help identify red flags, risk factors, and areas of concern that are related to conditions such as h…