Dental Mentors


Two years after I graduated dental hygiene school, I signed up for the local Utah Dental Hygienists’ Association Annual Session. I was so excited to go to a larger meeting to meet hygienists from all over the state, but listen to a few national speakers. I hadn’t been to a large dental convention before, and since I was starting to feel more comfortable with my profession and working with patients, I knew learning new skills and tricks would be amazing for my practice. The day of the convention, I picked a front row seat. I pulled out my notebook and was wide eyed to listen to a national speaker who I’ve looked up to and read about in all the national publications.

The speaker started her lecture. I’m sure the content was amazing (I honestly don’t remember the topic) and I’m sure learned a lot from it. But, the one thing I absolutely remember from the lecture was the feeling after I had about dental hygiene. Unfortunately, the speaker was negative toward the profession and where it was heading. And I’m not going to lie- I was heartbroken! My newbie hygiene heart hurt after that lecture. I was excited to meet and listen to this powerhouse in the dental hygiene world and thought she could be a potential mentor to me. But, instead, I left sad about being picking a career in dentistry.

 In contrast, my dad is a dentist. I’ve never worked for or known anyone who loves their job as much as my dad. He was obsessed with learning new techniques and technology, changing his patient’s lives, and finding the best way to treat many oral health and systemic health issues. He would tell me though that dentistry wasn’t always his favorite. When he first started as a dentist, it was hard. Starting a business, working with people, and finding great employees were all very difficult. But, once he had a rhythm and his focus was more on patient treatment instead of starting a business, he loved every second. He loved it so much that he encouraged all his kids to go into the dental field, which 3 out of the 5of us did.

 So, what’s the difference between these 2 dental mentors?

 First of all, they both had long, amazing careers in dentistry. And they were hard workers in a sometimes difficult career. However, one was positive about the outcome of dentistry and one maybe wasn’t as much. One loved the outcomes and saw the differences in patient’s lives, while one chose to focus on the negative aspects of dentistry. At this point in your career in dentistry, you can choose where you want to focus. Do you want to focus on the hard days, the late patients that just ate Oreos before their patients, or the way dentistry is changing in a way you don’t like? Or do you choose to focus on the positive outcomes of patients, the relationships made during your clinic day and the people’s smiles you helped create? For me, I’m choosing to follow my dad’s footsteps and legacy, and keep a positive outlook on what dentistry has done for me.


Which mentor will you be after your years in dentistry?

Jinx Challenge- Dental Edition

Ever seen the Jimmy Fallon Jinx Game? Watch it below for a quick and fun break between patients.

Now that you understand how the game works, we’ve made you your very own Jinx Challenge with a dental spin. Print off the words (card stock works great so you can’t see through the paper), grab a coworker or dental bestie, and try it out! See if you can connect and get as many Jinxes as you can! Plus, if you’re looking for a fun and easy game to start off a staff meeting, this game is the answer!

We’d love to see you play! Tag us @hygieneedge in your posts so we can see your cute faces!

Download the Hygiene Edge Jinx Challenge words here.

Is the Amazon Dental Light Worth it?


Last year, my loupes light broke. And I was heartbroken. It was my 1st patient of the day at 8 am. After the usual chit chat and radiographs, I laid the patient back and immediately put on my loupes and turned on the light. Except it didn’t turn on. I played with the cord, unplugged it several times, and double checked it was fully changed. But it still didn’t turn on. I felt blind the entire day! I have no idea how much I loved having a light until it was gone. I used loupes without a light for a few years even when I first got a pair of loupes, and didn’t know what I was missing! That evening, I jumped online to find a new light and to price out which brand to get, and what was in my price point. Turns out, it was going to take a while to buy a new light from one of the big brand companies, so of course, I turned to Amazon. And of course, there is an affordable option from overseas that would be at my house in 2 days. So I jumped on board and decided to try it for a few months. Here is what I found:



-       It was cheap. Like 5x cheaper than other dental specific brands.

-       It was the perfect light to get me through the months when I was out a professional light.

-       The newer model has a better clip than the older model. The one I purchased last year had a slip on clip that unfortunately didn’t fit on my Surgitel Oakley frames. However, the newer model has a clip that opens and should fit most designs and frames.



-       The cord is not flexible, which makes the light tricky to manage

-       The screw that attaches to the light isn’t that tight, so it tends to get loose over the day. At the end of the day, I use just a small screwdriver to tighten it.

-       The battery does not have a clip to attach to a pocket or a waist band. Instead, you just have to place the battery in your scrubs pocket which can be odd to get used it.

-       With the older model, the plastic slip on clip broke after a few months. After the plastic snapped, I couldn’t figure out a way to attach it to my safety glasses.

-       It gets really hot. My other light would warm up during the day, but this light would get difficult to touch or move if it had been left on for a few hours at a time.

-       The battery life lasts 4-5 hours when it’s brand new. So, I had to plug it in during lunch to make sure it latest the entire day. As I used it, the battery day span got shorter. But since they’re so cost effective, you could totally invest in 2 or 3 to have a few back up batteries on hand.

So, if you’re finding you need a light, this cost effective one on Amazon might be the answer!

Have you tried this light before? What’s your experience with it?