dental hygienist Orlando


ORLANDO FLORIDA (8/28/09) Visiting with your dental hygienist may result in more benefits than just cleaner teeth and healthier gums. You might even decide to stop smoking, improve your nutrition or check to see if you might be at risk for diabetes. "Most people simply don't realize just how educated and skilled their dental hygienists are", said Susan McLearan, president of the California Dental Hygienists' Association (CDHA). "The profession has evolved to the point where we actually can save lives."

Top Ten Things People Should Know About Their Dental Hygienists:

(modified by Health Orlando Publisher Items 1,2 and 10 as it applies to Florida Dental Hygienists)

1. Highly Educated Professionals : Students must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program to become licensed. They also must pass the national dental hygiene written board and the Florida dental hygiene clinical board. After passing the state board, the student becomes a registered dental hygienist (RDH).

2. Committed to Expanding Access to Care : Specially licensed hygienists can go into under served communities and provide dental hygiene services to some of the millions of Floridians who would otherwise have no access to dental care. (*check with your county health department)

3. Screen for Oral Cancer : Dental hygienists possess the skills to be the first health professional to identify potential signs of oral cancer and refer a patient to a physician.

4. Promote Healthy Nutrition : Dental hygienists can tell if a patient is eating poorly or is malnourished; they can then offer helpful advice and information.

5. Spot Signs of Eating Disorders : Also related to nutritional issues, eating disorders can also be recognized in the mouth during a check up.

6. Recognize Signs of Diabetes: Dental hygienists can alert patients that they might be in danger from diabetes, and refer them to seek confirmation from a medical doctor.

7. Promote Smoking Cessation : When examining patients who smoke tobacco, dental hygienists often will counsel them to quit and provide resources and information about steps they can take to stop smoking.

8. Prevent Gum and Periodontal Disease : By cleaning and examining teeth and gums, dental hygienists play a major role in preventing common oral diseases.

9. Understand the Link Between Oral Health and Emotional Health in Children : Dental hygienists are passionate about promoting good oral health among children, who can often suffer speech impediments, social ridicule, diminished self esteem and other problems related to poor oral health.

10. Represented by FDHA in Florida: Since FDHA was established 83 years ago, dental hygienists have been making continuous strides toward becoming the skilled, autonomous and essential public health professionals that they are today.

Furthermore, dental hygienists are qualified to detect a wide range of other life threatening conditions, including high blood pressure and HIV. "The items on our list really underscore that the mouth is a window into a person's comprehensive health," said CDHA's McLearan. "And because the average person sees a hygienist more often than a physician, it is especially important for people to understand the many facets and benefits of the dental hygiene profession."

Further info can be obtained at

California Dental Hygienists' Association

Major portions of this article and list were reprinted with permission from CDHA, California Dental Hygienist Association and edited to reflect Florida Requirements by Health Orlando Online Magazines Publisher.

Hygienist Requirements Information for Florida were obtained


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