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Why did you begin a career in dental hygiene?
Long before I was a hygienist, I was a patient stuck in a cycle of dental work and shame. Entering the dental field as an assistant opened my eyes to a big puzzle piece about why people become stuck in that same cycle. Dental hygiene appointments are filled with so many things, but actual oral hygiene instruction is rarely the focus. Patients often emotionally check out by the end of an appointment.
After I realized that “flossing and fluoride” were not going to solve my dental issues, I spent years learning about biofilm management and pH control, and I wanted to share that information with others. I wanted to help more people than I could chairside, so I took my motivational message online to a blog, a YouTube channel, a podcast and membership site of “how to” videos, and a private Facebook group. I’ve helped thousands of people find solutions to their oral health issues and reconnect with dentistry by helping them figure out what they want in a provider and how to find it.
What causes do you advocate on your social media accounts?
I want to help the consumer population become successful with their home care efforts, and I help them navigate the many puzzle pieces that affect oral and overall health. On the professional side, I speak about various topics including infection control, biofilm management and pH control, and emotional intelligence from a patient perspective.
What are your goals?
My goals are to help professionals become more comfortable with tough conversations when patients resist, and help them learn more about pH and biofilm issues, as well as how airway issues can be identified. I also want to help professionals realize what an asset it can be to properly handle their practice’s online presence so that it’s easier for potential patients to find them.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Responses edited for length and clarity.
Carrie Ibbetson, RDH
Facebook: Carrie Ibbetson RDH
Years in dental hygiene: 17