How to Be the Best Dental Hygienist You Can Be

There are a lot of things you need to be able to do to be a good dental hygienist; while you may get hung up on the technical side of cleaning teeth, assisting dentists, x-rays, education, assessing oral health and other such tasks, remember there is more to being the best dental hygienist you can be than to just be good with the industrial stuff.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 38% increase in dental hygienists by 2020 – that means you have to work harder to put yourself ahead of the crowd.

Technical Ability

Of course it isn’t everything, but being able to work the machines, equipment and knowing the procedures is definitely a large part of being the best you can possibly be. You have to get to a place through formative training as well as personal development where you are happy and confident to work with a range of equipment to do many tasks.

Try to focus on gaining detail of how things work in addition to simply knowing how to operate them. You might work with a brand of equipment that you are not familiar with even though you know how to use the particular device. It is always worth keeping up to date with industrial changes and developments like new procedures to stay ahead of the curve.


The best dental hygienists understand the need for clear and friendly communication in everything they do. In a typical day you might have to concisely describe a procedure, listen to patients and communicate with office staff to make sure your work is carried out to the best it can be.

A large majority of a successful dental hygienists time is education: teaching patients basic hygiene skills in addition to explaining what sort of medical issues they may be dealing with.

Remember that you may need to explain exactly how a patient needs to use a certain tool or how to effectively use a prescribed mouthwash to best effect. You need to be an all round communicator to do your job in the best way.