Dentists are in the news a lot these days for their handling of the new and improved, “healthy tooth” trend, which is essentially brushing your teeth with a fluoride-free toothpaste.
But what’s often missing from the conversation is how the dentist-hygienists and dental hygenists are using the term “dental hygiene” in general, and how they use it when talking about brushing their teeth.
Dentists, dental hygenicists, and dental hygiene experts have all come out in favor of using the phrase “dentist-hygiene” to describe brushing their patients’ teeth.
However, there’s a catch.
The term “healthful tooth” is so subjective, and so easily misinterpreted by the general public, that it could be a bit of a stretch to say that dentists are actually using it in a way that makes sense.
That’s why, as we continue our coverage of this topic, we’ve decided to compile some quotes from experts to give you some ideas of what it means to brush your teeth.
“Healthful tooth brushing is important for your teeth and their health.”
– Dr. Robert R. Kostin, DDS, CPA, DVM, MSD, MPH, CPT, CSCD, and chair of the department of dental medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
“It’s a great term for what we do.
We do a great job.
We have good education about what it’s supposed to do.”
– David M. Gurney, DTM, DPT, MD, FACP, CDP, and board-certified general dentist, University College London.
“Dental hygiene is about giving you an accurate understanding of what you’re getting into.
It’s also about how to maintain your integrity as a professional, and to respect other professionals’ integrity.
It requires a level of professionalism that is rare in dental work, so we’re always striving to make it as easy and effective as possible for our patients.”
– Mark A. DeCarlo, DNP, DTS, DSC, DMD, and professor of dental hygiene, Harvard Medical School, and chairman of the faculty of dentistry, University at Buffalo.
“The word ‘dental’ is a little ambiguous.
I think we need to stick with that term, ‘dentists’ as well.
It means somebody who is trained to do dentistry.
And it’s very important to know what you are talking about and what you need to do to be successful in the profession.
That being said, we will say that dental hygiene is a broad concept that encompasses everything from cleaning and sanitizing teeth, to the way we treat the mouths of our patients and the way the dental products we use are formulated to be hygre and sanitary.”
– Gary J. Guglielmi, DMT, MS, MPH and board certified general dentist and chair, University Health System, and former chair of dentiatrics and orthodontics, University Medical Center in St. Louis.
“There’s a lot of people who would like to think that we all agree that toothbrushing is important.
I would say, ‘No.
We just need to understand that, when you’re doing dental work in the dental clinic, there are many other things going on in the clinic that are equally important.”
– Daniel C. Henn, DDP, DHT, DCT, and author of “How to Be a Good Dental Hygienicist,” and author, “The Good Dontist: A Practical Guide for Dental Professionals” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014).
“When I see people who are brushing their nails, I don’t really care.
They don’t want to be rude.
But when I see them brushing their mouth with a toothbrush, I have a real problem.
They’re brushing their face and I have this terrible problem.”
– Eric R. Johnson, MD and DDS in the Department of Dental Surgery, University Hospitals Boston Medical Center, and CEO of the Dental Health Network, Inc. “I think what’s important is that they know that it’s really important to get their teeth checked.
That is a vital part of their dental health.
It can mean the difference between having a life-threatening infection or a life with dental health issues that they can’t really manage.”
– Nancy M. Krueger, DPH, DAS, DTP, DAG, and clinical associate professor, University Hospital, Leuven, Belgium.
“When you brush your lips, you can’t be 100 percent sure.
There are other things you can do.
The more you brush, the more you’ll learn and you’ll be able to apply more care to your mouth.
That will help you get better, and hopefully it