Th 330595

My favorite lines of 2009

Dec. 1, 2009
Readers often approach me via emails or during a dental conference to describe how an author's words helped them.

by Mark Hartley
[email protected]

Blog appears on

Readers often approach me via emails or during a dental conference to describe how an author's words helped them. Words can't describe how the authors' words help me. I would have to write many more words each month beyond what appears in this space. I am very indebted to the wisdom, information, and humor provided by the authors of RDH magazine. They are a delightful group of writers to work with on a monthly basis.

Every December, I like to devote my Editor's Note to some of my favorite lines from the past year.

Click here to enlarge image

In the January issue, Toni Adams and Winnie Furnari wrote an article titled, "Talking On Eggshells." They outlined four scenarios of how miscommunication happens. I liked the first one:

RDH: "So, Bob, how's your home care?"

Bob: "Well, I got the hedges trimmed and the gutters cleaned out this past weekend."

Dianne Glasscoe Watterson, the Staff Rx columnist, addressed speech habits in her April column. But kudos needs to be given to the reader who wrote Dianne about this conversation with a colleague:

Me: So, you're, like, 21 years old now. Twenty–one is, like, the cut–off age, you know.

Coworker: Cut–off age for, like, what?

Me: For using the word "like" after every few, like, words in, like, all your, like, sentences.

Lory Laughter, the From the Edge columnist, offered a sobering comment in her May column. She wrote about education standards for the profession.

I have spoken to students who are willing to pay more tuition and fees for a certificate in dental hygiene than most university students spend for a bachelor's degree. The reason they give is a quicker route to a paying job, and most dentists don't ask about education when interviewing. If the latter is true, it's a sad day for our profession...

In her September Comfort Zone column, Anne Guignon defended "chat–n–polish" hygienists by offering descriptions of various patients, including this one:

Then there are the patients who start their appointment with the latest picture of their grandchildren, dog, or vacation. Others come bearing gifts of cookies, sandwiches, or bags of homegrown tomatoes or cucumbers. In their minds, we're like family. With the big push on patients finding a dental "home," it's nice that they consider us a special part of their lives.

If you're bringing cookies, you can talk about anything you'd like.

In the October issue, Eva Watson offered survival tips for working in a "prophy mill." She wrote:

Looking back on three years of what I thought were hair–pulling, exhausting, I–c–take–this–anymore days, I wouldn't change any of my experiences — ever. Those years taught me how to work efficiently, purposefully, and perform well under pressure. I would not be the professional I am today without my clinical HMO experience.

The beautiful thing about blogs is that I can continue my round of applause for authors online. If you are interested in reading more of my blog about my favorite lines of 2009, go to and click on the "hygiene department." My "Inside Hygiene" blog appears on the home page of the department. I'm already looking forward to reading RDH articles in 2010.