Open Letter of Appreciation to Dental Hygienists
For Dental Hygiene appreciation month, we wanted to talk about the reality of being a dental hygienist. To put it simply, being a dental hygienist is a sacrifice. It’s all too common for hygienists to take a break from the field after developing arthritis and other joint disorders due to repetitive movements. For us to maintain our oral hygiene, this is a very real, human cost that cannot be understated or ignored.
In 2020, dental hygienists in the U.S. faced one of the most challenging choices of their careers. Many dental hygienists chose to stay and service their patients during the Covid-19 pandemic even though airborne infection rates were at the top of mind for all. When faced with a choice between continuing their service and risking their lives or ceasing practice for their safety-many demonstrated their selflessness and commitment to their role.
Despite these enormous and real sacrifices, many dental hygienists feel underappreciated and disrespected in their role still to this day. Perhaps, it’s because too many people are not aware of how often dental hygienists make a difference in the lives of every patient that enters their care.
Here’s a non-comprehensive list of ways dental hygienists change our lives:
- Taking vitals before our checkup and finding we have other health problems besides our oral health.
- Educate us on the importance of oral hygiene as it relates to our overall health, which many are unaware of.
- Give us confidence that our smile can improve if we take care of our teeth and ourselves
- Change our thought processes about how we see ourselves
- Inform us how to fight bad breath and avoid embarrassment
- Go out of your way to assure us there’s nothing to be scared of in the dental office
- Listen to us and make us feel heard and seen
- Make a better smile so loved ones can see us shine
- Train us to care for our teeth for the rest of our lives
While far from complete, this short list shows how massively important dental hygienists are to everyone. An improvement in oral health ripples into almost every other aspect of our lives. How often have you smiled for a photo, at your spouse, or even for a big interview? We want people to imagine us smiling and happy when we cross their minds. We have no idea what life would be like without smiling, and many of us owe our pearly whites to dental hygienists who taught us how to care for them.
TempMee hopes you have a wonderful and gratifying hygienist appreciation month. Every day we work with thousands of dental hygienists, and we realize how lucky we are to work with a community of genuine, polite, and selfless people. Our platform is designed to give you more control over your career, and we are always eager to hear your feedback on how we can improve the platform to enhance your experience as a dental hygienist.