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Dental Hygienist - Training & Careers

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Dental HygienistWhen you were a kid, your dental hygienist probably reminded you to brush your teeth after every meal. He or she also told you the importance of changing your toothbrush a few times every year.

And undoubtedly your dental hygienist told you that you should have a check-up every 6 months. Although most people don’t do these things, they still remember the sage advice of their dental hygienist after all of these years.

What is a Dental Hygienist?

A dental hygienist works in the dentist’s office and performs a number of important functions. They educate patients about good dental care. They show you how to brush and floss your teeth properly.

They instruct you on how to take care of your gums. And they advice you on what foods to eat and not eat. However, they perform many other functions as well. Dental hygienist also clean your teeth, apply fillings, take X-rays, and administer anesthetics.

Becoming a Dental Hygienist

Because of the broad scope of duties, it is not surprising that dental hygienists must be licensed in the State in which they practice. After dental hygiene school, candidates must take a two part test.

There is both a written exam (administered by the American Dental Association Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations) and a clinical exam (administered by the State).

Job outlook for Dental Hygienist

Job prospects are excellent for this occupation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there is increased demand for dental work and general health. Preventative care is more popular now than ever thanks to heightened education and awareness.

In addition, you’ll probably only work part time at any given dentist office so you can outsource your skills to several locations. Expect to make a median salary of $27 an hour.

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