If you look at the job description for the title of pediatric dental hygienist you will see that the duties include cleaning teeth, taking x-rays and keeping records, when in actuality the position entails a whole lot more.
First and foremost, a dental hygienist who works with children on a daily basis has to have patience and a natural ability to communicate on the child’s level. A visit to the dentist’s office can be a scary proposition for a child. He may have been told a story about a trip to the dentist that didn’t go so well for a playmate or he might have overheard a grownup, even a parent, relating a bad experience to another adult.
Whatever the cause for anxiety may be a dental hygienist will need to be able to lessen it. You may be surprised at what the soothing effects of a confident voice of authority can mean to a child. If the hygienist can manage to put her patient at ease before the dental exam begins things are likely to go smoothly for everyone.
The options for those interested in pursuing a career as a pediatric dental hygienist are substantial. There are the traditional programs that result in earning an associate degree and the eligibility to apply for a license to practice in a particular state. Licensing usually requires written as well as practical exams that are endorsed by the ADA (American Dental Association). This is the route commonly taken by those who aspire to work with pediatric patients in a private practice. Others may opt for an advanced degree that will prepare them to go into the research or teaching aspects of the field. The experience that can be gained by working directly with pediatric patients can be invaluable.
Dr. Patterson of Epic Dentistry for Kids in Aurora recommends that children see a dental hygienist every six months in conjunction with a regular exam. Call the office @ 720-721-3600 to schedule an appointment. Our staff will work to accommodate your child’s school calendar.