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National Dental Hygiene Month: Our time to shine!

Sept. 26, 2022
October is a time of many good things, including National Dental Hygiene Month. Take the time to consider the influence we have on supporting our patients’ whole-body health this month and all year long.
Jackie Sanders, MBA, RDH, Chief editor, RDH magazine

October introduces crisper weather, leaves changing, and all things pumpkin. Within our professional realm, October means the recognition of National Dental Hygiene month—a time when we celebrate the significance of our profession and promote the benefits of good oral health.

We often place our focus on our patients, making sure they are aware of whole-body health and how their mouth affects all health issues. But this month in particular, also find time to focus on you. Take the time to reflect on your personal, mental, and physical health—with challenges such as ongoing staffing shortages, deepening burnout, and more—we’ve all been traveling a path we’d never encountered before. Find your balance between clinical time and personal/family time.

Celebrate the roles of dental hygienists from clinical care and academia to ergonomic training and corporate; we play an integral role by influencing the health of so many others in so many ways.

October has 31 days, and we at RDH celebrate each of them with you. The professional influence and the wealth of knowledge we have on supporting our patients’ whole-body health is powerful. This is our time to shine!

I also want to share some of our favorite articles to inspire and motivate you, support your professional development, and help you avoid burnout—for Dental Hygiene Month and the whole year through.

Burnout: How to get your life back

Hygienists have long known that burnout is real, but never more so than the past few years. Here, Bethany Montoya, RDH, takes a thoughtful look at ways to overcome it and get back to enjoying your career and life.

Burnout in hygiene: 5 steps to reclaim your life

Let’s be wholehearted

What is “halfway hygiene”—and what does it have to do with the times we’re in? Explains Amanda Hill, BSDH, RDH: “Every day I was doing my absolute best with my patients with the time and equipment available. I was giving it my all, but I knew that my all wasn’t all there was. I was stuck in what I now term ‘halfway hygiene.’”

Let’s stop practicing “halfway hygiene”

Reclaim your joy

Julie Whiteley, RDH, takes an honest look not just at the good, but also at the bad and the ugly. Even so, she says, “If you ask whether my career has been filled with more joy than sadness, without a doubt I can answer yes!” Check her 10 tips for getting back to your joy in hygiene.

10 tips to find your joy in dental hygiene

A new beginning?

Change is hard, but sometimes it’s what you need both personally and professionally. Do you feel like it's time for a career change? Carol Jahn, MS, RDH, shares tips on how to start to move out of clinical hygiene to head toward a new beginning.

Finding your path to career development