Kathy: When I was looking for a change in my professional life after over a decade in the long-term care industry, I knew I wanted to continue in health care and help people. I wasn’t sure in what capacity until a dentist friend of mine said, "You would make a great dental hygienist, you have the best personality and patients will love you!" Who wouldn't want a job like that?
Kathy: Make it personal (and scary, if necessary). The more you make oral care problems relatable to them or someone in their family, the more they can visualize the problem and address it. I remind my patients that we all fall off of the wagon once in a while, but the important thing is that they never stop trying to improve their oral health, even if it involves baby steps.
Kathy: Be patient. We didn’t learn all about dental hygiene in a 45-minute to 1-hour visit. We know that forming a habit takes time, and when it happens, the feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming, not only for you, but more importantly, the patient!
Kathy: I’ve been teased many times about the “book” that I write about my patients, but I like to have such valuable information that connects the mouth to the human behind it. I’ve laughed and cried with so many and it is nice to be more than a "tooth cleaner" to them.
Kathy: Peppermint is my fav!
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