By the time you read this, we’ll be well into October, which is National Dental Hygiene Month. As recognition of the importance of oral health to a person’s entire body grows, some of you may be wondering if it should be renamed “Take Care of Your Mouth or Else” Month. I was struck by articles by Jannette Whisenhunt, PhD, MEd, RDH, in some of our last few issues that reported on the connection of pathogenic oral bacteria with both pancreatic and colorectal cancers. While the science is still not definitive, it’s becoming clear that in many ways, the phrase “dental hygiene” means something different than it did in the 20th century.
To that end, in this issue we have articles on some of the mainstays of clinical practice (such as desensitizers, temping, sharpening, and team communication) mixed with others about emerging trends in hygiene—salivary diagnostics, laser treatment, working with medical doctors, and probiotics, for example.
On social media, we’re facilitating special discussions throughout the month, and we’d love to hear from you. Just go to our Facebook page (facebook.com/pg/
RDHmagazine), click “Posts” on the left, and search #NationalDentalHygieneMonth. Our followers will be talking about other hygienists who inspire them, things you wish patients understood better about oral health, the most challenging parts of your career, and more. Please join in—your voice matters!
Amelia Williamson DeStefano