April isn’t just something we look forward to because it represents the sure sign of spring, it’s also the month we celebrate oral health! Along with that celebration comes the opportunity to thank our Dental Hygienists, particularly during Dental Hygienists Week, typically celebrated April 4th – 10th. This year’s theme is Oral Health for Total Health and it recognizes the role that one’s good oral health is a vital and necessary contributor to one’s overall wellbeing. Hygienists play a vital role in helping us to maintain strong, healthy teeth and gums so we thought now would be the perfect time to talk about oral health month, our dental hygienists team and – to celebrate!
The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association uses the month of April to remind us “that taking care of our mouth, teeth and gums positively impacts on other aspects of our lives.” Certainly, the Brinkley Team has examined the link between a healthy smile and a positive mental mindset in previous blogs. It probably just sounds like old-fashioned common sense that when we feel good about ourselves, we will feel better about our lives in general and having a healthy smile definitely plays an important role in our overall mental health and our physical wellbeing.
While we’re talking about dental hygienists we thought it might prove interesting to look at what’s involved in becoming a hygienist and a few “fun facts” you might be interested to learn. We’ll start with this one: did you know that purple has long been associated with dental health? In 1897 the National Association of Dental Faculties chose the colour purple to be a part of their emblem and since that time, purple has featured prominently in the trim on dental hygienist graduate caps and gowns. Purple is said to represent compassion and purpose as well as inspiration and during oral health month and dental hygienist week, everyone is encouraged to “get their purple on!”
You may think you know but let’s also take a look at what dental hygienists do. They are our front line support when it comes to maintaining good oral health. It’s often the hygienist who sees you first at the office and who completes an assessment of your teeth, mouth and gums. They then provide routine services including scaling, root planing, dental sealants and fluoride treatments. They will work together with the Dentist to observe and call attention to cavities and/or other areas of concern that require attention. In some dental practices, your hygienist might also complete mouth guard fittings, provide tobacco cessation programs or even make dietary recommendations as they relate to improving your oral health care. They will often assist the dentist chair side while other procedures are completed.
There are more than 30,000 registered dental hygienists in Canada making it the 6th largest health care related profession. Hygienists will have completed either a degree or diploma program at a recognized post-secondary educational institution and have a background in math, biology and chemistry. It’s a highly competitive program that involves in class learning, practicing “real life scenarios” on both mannequins and fellow class members and eventually, on patients within the school’s associated dental clinic. If you think this sounds appealing, we encourage you to do some research. After all – with spring’s arrival many patients in our family based Brampton practice might soon be looking at graduation and post secondary options. A career as a dental hygienist might be just right for you! If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a member of the Brinkley Dental Hygienists team, contact our offices anytime. Speaking of time – until we connect again, in the meantime we will leave you with the same message we always do: “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”