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Change is Needed to Save Lives; the role of dentistry and medicine

I was privileged to attend a recent course with Dr. Bale and Dr. Doneen focused on Heart Attack, Stroke and Oral Health. Bringing to the fore-front once again, the work dental professionals provide matters when it comes to cardiac health. The collaboration between medical and dental professionals is continuing to strengthen as science recognizes what is happening in the mouth directly impacts the rest of the body, and vice versa. Current research is demonstrating more than a casual association between oral health and cardiovascular health, with a direct cause and effect relationship. This means it's time to make a change! Screening for both diseases more aggressively and more frequently in both the medical and dental field is required. How does one impact the other? We know inflammation in the oral cavity will lead to ulcerations in the epithelium tissues, allowing bacteria to travel a distance systemically. The bacteria present in the oral cavity triggers the inflammator

How does the "Client Experience" impact the success of dental hygiene appointments ?

We know that for some clients dental hygiene appointments can be a daunting experience and something they easily delay or avoid. One of main reasons I have found is related to discomfort they may have experienced in the past. Clients make their feelings well known inside and outside the dental operatoy, while discussing their experiences with friends and family. Since working chair-side for well over a decade, as well as being privileged with my current role to hear from hundreds of hygienists, about what makes a positive impact on their appointments. I have learned ideal strategies hygienists can utilize to make a true difference. Recognizing our client's comfort is a top priority is one thing, but implementing strategies to meet their on-going needs is another. One of the best skills we can have as dental hygienists is the ability to put ourselves in our clients shoes. This empathy will allow you to meet the needs of your clients. If you let your clients truly express ho

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 baby arrives. 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.  Understanding 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 whe