This is a picture of me from my first semester working on a fake patient! His name is Dexter (:
I started Dental hygiene school in May of this year (2016) and so far I have finished my first semester and I am half way through my second semester. I started seeing patients for the first time this semester and I absolutely love it! My favorite part is being able to implement all that I have learned so far and improve the dental health of others. Dental hygiene school is definitely one of the hardest things I have ever done. There are days that I come home crying and I feel so inadequate, but I know it will all be worth it on graduation day. I have had so many people ask me why I want to clean peoples' teeth for a living but it is actually really fun! For someone who hasn't cleaned teeth before that might sound like a really weird statement. I am really into painting and science.. literally those are my two favorite things and I have never been able to put the two together like I have with dental hygiene. Yes cleaning teeth is not painting, but it is more similar than you might think. I also just love the progression I have seen. I could talk for ages on how much I love what I do, but I won't.
There are a couple things I thought were super interesting that I have learned in school that I didn't know before and I wanted to share!
1. Flossing is not just to get food out of your teeth
I totally thought that flossing was mostly to get stuff out of in-between my teeth. But in reality the reason I needed to floss every single day is to disrupt the bacteria. Bacteria likes to grow on top of each other and after a couple days they produce this shield that protects them. If someone flosses everyday they break those bacteria apart from each other and then they cannot progress to something worse.
2. Periodontitis is a gum disease that also effects the bone
Ok so most of us have heard of gingivitis, when our gums get all inflamed and they might hurt or might even make our gums bleed when we floss or brush. Well periodontal disease is what can happen after gingivitis if there isn't good oral hygiene. The sad part is, periodontitis is not reversible! It can be treated and contained, but it won't ever go back to normal. In periodontitis, the bone that holds our teeth in place gets destroyed and it cannot grow more after it has been destroyed. It can get so bad that there isn't enough bone to hold the teeth and then thats why people loose all their teeth when they get older.
3. Bass technique
I never heard of this till school. It's one of the most effective way for an adult to brush their teeth. Instead of subbing (which is actually not good) it is important to angle the tooth brush at a 45 deg. angle toward the gums to get all the bacteria that is accumulating there! Here is a picture from: http://tube.medchrome.com/2013/04/brushing-technique-bass-and-modified.html
Those are a couple things I have learned so far!