Dental Hygienists

  1. Description

Medicine and Health Care

You’re probably aware that going to the dentist isn’t most people’s idea of a pleasant experience, but as a dental hygienist, you can help patients enjoy and even avoid a trip to the dentist. 

Dental hygienists are responsible for helping patients keep their teeth and gums clean and disease free. The more thorough and effective the hygienist, the more likely it is the patient can steer clear of unpleasant dental procedures.

Dental hygienists focus on preventive dental care. They remove deposits from teeth, apply fluoride, take x-rays, examine patients' teeth and gums, and check for mouth diseases.

“When you're working in a dental practice, you see all types of people with all types of problems.”Melissa, Dental Hygienist

Are You Ready To...?

  • Use a variety of tools to clean and examine teeth
  • Record your observations
  • Educate patients about dental care
  • Wear safety glasses, gloves, masks, and special clothing to protect yourself and patients from disease
  • Probably work part-time or at more than one dental office
  • Work some evenings and weekends
  • Take both written and hands-on, practical exams to earn your state license

It Helps To Be...

Good with your hands and able to put people at ease. If you enjoy arts and crafts, fixing appliances, or teaching someone a new skill, you already have some talents and interests that make you well suited to dental hygiene.

Make High School Count

  • Do your best in biology, chemistry, and math.
  • Enhance your communication skills through English composition, drama, and speech classes.
  • Study a foreign language to communicate with more patients.
  • Volunteer at a dental clinic.

Did You Know?

Dental hygienists take on more responsibilities in some states than in others.