Mark Hartley, Editor
Here are my awards for the last millennium. Let me get ready for this ceremony. I scrape mud from soccer fields off my tennis shoes. I take off the hat that helps me evade whatever`s slipping through the nonexistent ozone layer. I turn down the volume of my son`s stereo, somehow muting his pleasure of listening to a band called Limp Bizkit. I swap my dress shirt for a garment that`s not made by Tommy Hilfiger, but it`s comfortable enough for the chores that middle-age men do.
And now it`s time for me to join the rest of you in reflecting on where we`ve just been.
Best thing to happen to dental hy-giene: In my mind, it`s a three-way tie.
I`d say the professional freedom enjoyed by hygienists practicing in Colorado and New Mexico is nice. I`d say any dentist who shares a hygienist`s vision for an effective soft-tissue management program also is a winner. Last, but not least, is Dr. Esther Wilkins.
Worst thing to happen to dental hy-giene: The Alabama Dental Hygiene Program (preceptorship).
Any disagreement? Only organized dentistry can make flipping burgers sound like a more lucrative and appealing career than a job in dentistry. The Pentagon routinely distributes a memo: "Do not assign a military dentist to recruiting post; otherwise, no one would enlist, and we`d have to reinstitute the draft."
Best thing offered to consumers: Powered toothbrushes.
Most of you are going to argue that it`s the capability to cheaply mass-produce floss. But I`m an old feller born in the days when manual brushes were the only option. I love my powered toothbrushes - so humor me.
Worst but true name for a convenience store: Git `n Scram.
They sell floss there, but not powered toothbrushes - another reason I`m right about the previous category.
Best place to host a national dental hygiene meeting: Orlando.
But I do commend the ADHA for selecting some "quaint" locations for its meetings; however, I stopped viewing New Orleans as being quaint years ago. So, yes, I was there in June 1998, wondering what exactly do hygienists find enchanting about Bourbon Street.
Weirdest thing about a national dental hygiene meeting: Too few hygienists.
Most of the major dental meetings - the ADA, Hinman, Chicago Midwinter, and Greater New York - attract the attendance of three times the number of hygienists who attend the ADHA`s annual session. No matter what reason you can give for it, it`s still weird. Meetings specifically developed for hygienists should be supported. And, if you haven`t been in a while, the ADHA does a good job.
Best decision voters made: Fluoridate community water supplies.
Worst decision voters made: Jesse Ventura.
Minnesota hygienists, don`t bother writing. I freely admit that I voted for Perot in the 1992 presidential election. We all make mistakes.
Pet peeve of Mark Hartley: Writers who insert "dental" in front of every other word.
Dental office, dental team, dental staff, dental hygienist, dental equipment, dental appointment ... the list goes on. Is someone confused about who reads RDH? In the spirit of professional patriotism, I believe there`s nothing wrong with lightly peppering an article with the unneeded adjective of "dental." Just don`t overdo it. What is disloyal to the profession? Slipping a horticultural sentence into an RDH article and deleting "horticultural?" "The horticultural staff viewed the horticultural assistant as adequately trained for handling horticultural equipment while probing deep into the recesses of the Caryopteris clandonensis." Oh, my!
Best thing about RDH writers: Their hearts.
When a hygienist puts a pen to paper, the depth of her compassion and commitment to health care always shines through. It`s a pleasure to read what a hygienist has to say.
Best time of the year: We`re in the middle of it.
Happy holidays and best wishes to you!
Editor Mark Hartley can be contacted at [email protected]