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Hygiene Tribune U.S. Edition

Do you have general comments or criti- cism you would like to share? Is there a particular topic you would like to see articles about in Hygiene Tribune? Let us know by e-mailing feedback@dental- We look forward to hearing from you! If you would like to make any change to your subscription (name, address or to opt out) please send us an e-mail at and be sure to include which publication you are referring to. Also, please note that sub- scription changes can take up to 6 weeks to process. Tell us what you think! HYGIENE TRIBUNE The World’s Dental Hygiene Newspaper · U. S. Edition Publisher & Chairman Torsten Oemus Chief Operating Officer Eric Seid Group Editor & Designer Robin Goodman Editor in Chief Hygiene Tribune Angie Stone, RDH, BS Managing Editor/Designer Implant, Endo & Lab Tribunes Sierra Rendon Managing Editor/Designer Ortho Tribune & Show Dailies Kristine Colker Online Editor Fred Michmershuizen f.michmershuizen@dental-tribune. com Account Manager Mark Eisen Marketing Manager Anna Wlodarczyk Sales & Marketing Assistant Lorrie Young C.E. Manager Julia E. Wehkamp C.E. International Sales Manager Christiane Ferret Dental Tribune America, LLC 116 West 23rd Street, Suite 500 New York, NY 10011 Tel.: (212) 244-7181 Fax: (212) 244-7185 Published by Dental Tribune America © 2011 Dental Tribune America, LLC All rights reserved. Hygiene Tribune strives to maintain utmost accuracy in its news and clinical reports. If you find a factual error or content that requires clarification, please contact Group Editor Robin Goodman at Hygiene Tribune cannot assume responsibility for the validity of product claims or for typographical errors. The publisher also does not assume responsibility for product names or statements made by advertisers. Opinions expressed by authors are their own and may not reflect those of Dental Tribune America. Back to school? Despite being one of the most pre- ventable of all diseases, tooth decay continues to rank as the most wide- spread public health issue for Cali- fornia children, according to the Cali- fornia Dental Hygienists’ Association (CDHA). The warning comes on the heels of a report identifying California as being “off track” when it comes to addressing the dental needs of chil- dren. “Poor oral care contributes to speech impediments, low self-esteem and a wide range of health prob- lems involving infections,” said Ellen Standley, CDHA president. “It is unfortunate that one in four children have never even been to a dentist and that tooth decay is five times more prevalent than asthma.” The Pew Center, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving public policy, which issued the report, issueda“C”gradetoCalifornia,where it says more than 750,000 elementary school children had untreated tooth decay in 2006; conventional wisdom suggests that number is now closer to 1 million, according to the CDHA. According to the Pew Report, Cali- fornia falls short in these key oral health-care policy benchmarks: • Only 27 percent of California drinking water supplies are fluori- dated — far less than the national average of 75 percent. • Nationwide, the percentage of dentists’ fees reimbursed by Medicaid is 60 percent, while California lagged behind with 34 percent. The CDHA continues to voice related concerns. For instance, many dentists are not comfortable treating infants or very young children, and instead they refer them to a pedo- dontist. CDHA officials say this dem- onstrates why the role of a dental hygienist is so vital. “The dental hygienist can provide mothers of infants and young chil- dren with simple nutritional counsel- ing to help prevent dental decay,” said Standley. “We are a trusted and reliable source of information about everything from proper brushing to the safe use of bottles and sippy cups.” Additionally, disparities exist across race, ethnicity and type of insurance when it comes to the length of time between dental care visits. Most den- tal practices don’t accept Medicaid- enrolled children of any age, said Standley, and children are seen on an average of 10 times in a medical office before the first dental exam is ever scheduled. “The CDHA continues to make it a priority to raise awareness of pediat- ric oral health among policy makers, parents and the public health commu- nity,” said Standley. “The good news is that with knowledge and public education, we can make headway in reducing tooth decay in our children.” The CDHA is the authoritative voice of the state’s dental hygiene profession. The organization was established 25 years ago when two regional associations merged to form a unified professional group. The CDHA represents thousands of den- tal hygienists. HT (Source: PRWEB) The bachelor’s of science in dental hygiene degree is becoming more difficult to obtain due to the closing of many traditional four-year programs. This leaves many hygien- ists with an associate’s degree in hygiene. While an associate’s degree allows a graduate to practice dental hygiene, a four-year degree is pref- erable for many positions associated with dental hygiene. If one has aspi- rations of being employed in dental hygiene education, corporate posi- tions, sales, etc., a bachelor’s degree is sometimes mandatory. Degree completion programs are available to obtain a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and there are hygienists who wish to pursue that degree. For those interested in a career in dental hygiene educa- tion, this is usually the mandatory path. In many programs, full-time teaching positions may even require a master’s degree in dental hygiene education. For the other positions, the course of study is not as important. Bach- elor’s degrees in other courses of study mix nicely with the profession of dental hygiene. Hygienists can often be heard saying they feel like counselors. Understanding the way human beings learn, think and are motivated help hygienists relate to patients. For these reasons, clinical dental hygiene is well complement- ed by a parallel degree in psychol- ogy. For those interested in a sales position, a degree in business may prove to be a good parallel degree. A hygienist who likes to write might want to consider a degree in jour- nalism. Those who have a patient base that speaks languages other than English may benefit from a degree in a foreign language. Clini- cians interested in research might want to consider majoring in a field they would like to research, such as biology. A four-year degree in some- thing other than dental hygiene may open doors to other career oppor- tunities if one decides to leave the dental hygiene profession. These degrees can be obtained in a variety of ways. There are the traditional avenues, such as attend- ing courses on a campus. However, this may not be the most convenient for working adults. With the incep- tion of non-traditional learning, the working adult population can con- tinue to work and complete a four- year degree. There are universities that offer evening classes in an accelerated format that meet in person and/or online. A quick inquiry of local col- leges and universities can provide information about one’s options. Paying for an education up front might pose a hurdle for some stu- dents. Adults can apply for financial aid. This is a relatively easy pro- cess and filing an application will let a potential student know what Editor’s Letter HYGIENE TRIBUNE | May 20112C assistance is available. If one is not eligible for grants or scholarships, student loans are another option. These loans often have low interest over a long period for repayment. Acquiring a bachelor’s degree is doable and well worth the time and effort. If you have been thinking about going back to school, there is no time like the present to do some investigation of the possibilities, get all of your ducks in a row and actu- ally “take the plunge.” You will like- ly not regret having expanded upon your educational horizons. HT Best Regards, Angie Stone, RDH, BS California children continue to face oral health epidemic