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Proper oral hygiene is far more than a pretty smile. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a two-step process; proper care at home and preventive maintenance with your dentist.

Typically, it’s recommended that you visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. And while it’s true only a dentist treats certain dental conditions, a dental hygienist plays an active role in the overall health of your teeth and gums.

Read on to learn what a dental hygienist is, what they do and how they can improve your smile!

Responsibilities of a Dental Hygienist

Think of a dental hygienist as if they were the dentist’s assistant. They help out the dentist by taking charge of other necessities that are required for an oral examination, cleaning, x-rays etc while under the supervision of an orthodontist.

Below is a list of some of the dental hygienist’s responsibilities:

  • Educate patients on the types of dental treatments and procedures.
  • Take stock of all the needed medicine and supplies as well as maintain the equipment.
  • Writes down any kind of decay, conditions, disease and treatments that are recommended by the dentist.
  • Helps administer the local anesthetics.
  • Perform oral examinations and identify any potential problems to include cavities, gum disease and even malignant lesions

As you can see, a dental hygienist has a lot of responsibilities and duties than just simply cleaning out a mouth.

Becoming a Dental Hygienist

In order to become a dental hygienist yourself, there are a few requirements that you must meet. Don’t feel overwhelmed, as it’s rather simple to become a dental hygienist.

Below is a list of the requirements of becoming a dental hygienist:

  • You will need an associate’s, bachelor’s, or a master’s degree
  • Graduate from a dental hygiene school
  • A license from the state dental board
  • You must pass the written and clinical exam after graduation

While it may seem like only a few things to do, all of these requirements demand your full focus and attention. Furthermore, medical programs are highly competitive, so be sure to strive for the best grade possible.

Dental hygienists are the first line of action when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile. Their job is just as important as the dentist they’re working for, if not more. With this all of the above information in mind, you’re now better equipped to equip to keep pearly whites shining brightly. Learn more here about how to choose the right dentist for you.