Dental Hygiene Programs- Starting Your Career in Dental Hygiene.

Dental hygiene is considered one of the fastest growing occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The employment for dental hygienists is expected to increase by as much as 30%, which is classified as much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations. The opportunities and career advancement for hygienists makes it one of the most promising occupations through the next decade. Thus, if you have great motor skills, have a genuine interest in educating others about maintaining their health, and enjoy working with different types of people, you might want a career in dental hygiene.

In 2006, 167,000 jobs were held by dental hygienists. Almost all of them worked in the offices of the dentists but a small number worked in physician offices, employment services, and other fields. The hygienists closely work together with dentists and dental assistants and have direct interaction with patients; thus, they must have the ability to communicate effectively with different types of people.

A good dental hygiene program should include the following:
Proper eating habits and good diet: Dental decay is caused by the breakdown of sugar into acid by bacteria that are naturally present in the human oral environment. These bacteria feed on starches and sugars. Acid is formed when bacteria act on starch or sugar. The acid formed causes enamel degradation, which is the starting point of any dental caries. Artificially sweetened foods, drinks and chewing gum are better options

Proper regular tooth brushing techniques: It is advised to brush the teeth two or three times a day, it is always better to brush after every meal and after taking any food in between. A regular visit to the dentist is necessary in order to maintain and preserve your oral health. A visit to the dentist after every six months is recommended.

If patients show symptoms of dental abnormalities, the hygienists have the dentists check on them. One reason why hygienists ought to have good motor skills is because they use various tools such as rotary instruments and ultrasonic devices to clean and polish the teeth of patients. They remove stains, tartar, and plaque in preparation for the dentist’s examination. They also give injections of anesthetics for deep cleaning and root cleaning procedures. Protective teeth materials, like sealants and fluoride, are also applied.

Individuals who have decided to start a career in dental hygiene should obtain an associate, baccalaureate, or master degree from a school that offers dental hygienist programs accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Formal training and dental hygiene education are received at community colleges, technical schools, vocational schools, dental schools, and universities. An associate degree program takes around two years to complete, whereas, a baccalaureate degree requires at least four years of classes and training. Some schools that offer baccalaureate degree programs require that prospective dental hygienists complete at least two years of college before they are enrolled in the program. The degree programs also include practicum practices, where students have internships in actual work settings to gain and develop their technical and clinical skills.