Dental Injection Guide


So I've recently started to work clinically again which has been so fun! However, I get a little nervous each time I have a free second, since I know the dentist will ask me to jump in and help with injections. I love a good injection and I feel confident in my injections for perio debridement. Dental procedures on the other hand, not so much. So I'll be printing off our latest free download, a dental injection guide for the dental hygienist, and sticking it in my OHE kit to have on hand as a reference. Hopefully now, no more sweating will be involved when someone asked to help on the doctor's side!

Other fun facts about using local anesthetic on dental patients:

1. Do not give less than what is recommended, even if the patient is under sedation. The patient is still conscious, could still feel the procedure, and will move when they feel pain.

2. Many dental schools teach to only use lidocaine on all injections. Some teach septocaine on everything except the IA block. 

3. Checking blood pressure is always recommended before treatments with local anesthetic to see how much can epi can be used.

Note: This is a guide. This injection protocol is taught at most dental schools, but your dentist may have a different school of though when it comes to what local anesthetic is needed or which injections should be utilized. If you ever have questions on their preferences, just ask! They'd prefer you to double check instead of not having the patient fully numb.

Do you regularly give injections for the dentist's procedures? How often?

Oral Hygiene Education Kit How To


Remember back in Dental Hygiene school and your assignment of making an oral hygiene education kit full of handouts and samples? Remember how you made it and never used it? Well, I’m going to encourage you to either pull it out or make up a new one! Especially if you temp regularly or are looking for a new job or your first job. Here are a few reasons why to brush off the dust off your old portfolio:

If you ever talk to Candi, she ALWAYS takes her OHE kit with her to temp days. I actually started to use mine again because of her! She would always get compliments from offices about how she took the time and cared for patients by bringing extra little things to give them. They definitely notice that you care for patients and aren’t there just to get through another day. She, and now I, have had several job offers from temp days by just showing we have cared about patients and their oral and overall health.

Patients notice and love stuff. When you go to a convention or an appointment, do you love getting samples? It’s human nature to love free things to try out. Your patients love it too. Giving them something physical to take home and try out will help remind them of the education you talked about during the appointment as well.

What does an OHE Kit look like?

It’s hard to stay exactly what it should look like. A system that works for you is definifely the best! I persoanlly have mine in an occordian style folder, with dividers to organize papers and producits in sections, such as Diabetes, Children, Pregnency, etc. I’ve also seen binders with page protectors to organize papers, as well as a file folder box with divided areas. Whatever you have space for or can carry is the best for you!


Now that you’re ready to remake your portofio, what should you have it in? First, look at your population that you serve. If you work in pediactrics, obviously your hand outs and products should be taylored to your little ones. If you work in a high caries risk area, make sure you have several sampeles and flyers all about decreasing caries and fluoride recommendations. Here are a few general idea you could add into your kit:

1. Xylitol Lollipops- These are my favorite to have on hand! They’re perfect to open a conversation about xylitol to parents (and have our Hygiene Edge handout to give to parents if they have any questions). They’re also amazing to have when parents bring their children to their appointment, especially when temping since a temp day is already stressful! Once they start to get wiggly, I’ll pull them out to give to the child to help them make it through the hour. I personally like the flavors of Xyloburst's lollipops.

2. Brushing/Flossing Calendars- These are always a fun motivator for both adults and children. Not many people hand them out, so talking about brushing habits and enforcing the habit with a calendar can make an impression on patients.

3. Plain Blank Index Cards- If I’m temping, I love to have some blank cards on me to make notes for the patient about OHE recommendations that we talked about during the appointment. They’re ok looking, and a lot more professional than a Post It Note. If you work at an office every week, look into having a simple paper made up with your office logo at the top. Slip this paper into the patient OHE bag to help reinforce habits at home.

4. Samples from Conventions- Floss, brushes, denture cleaner tablets, anything! It is definitely temping to use all the samples from a convention yourself (and I’m not going to lie- I use and test out most of them!) but saving them for patients is always nice. Slip them into a pocket of your OHE folder to give out to patients in practice at a later date.

5. Coupons- Again, having something tangible of a product you recommended is always great to remind the patient what exactly it was you talked about. Knowing and talking about which stores in your area that they product can be purchased at it always helpful as well.


Where to find OHE Materials to Add to your Kit

1. Colgate has some great resources for kids. These are also great to have on hand to give and chat to kids both when they’re your patient in your dental care or if they come along with their parent or grandparents appointment.

2. Listerine has some great facts sheet about how diabetes and oral health are connected. 

3. Of course, our Hygiene Edge Shop has many free downloads of hand outs for both you and your patients. Plus, we try to regularly add new ones, so keep an eye out!

4. RDH Companion is an online resource for hygienists. For a small monthly fee, you can download and print lots of OHE resources. 


Let us know how it goes! What works for you with highlighting the importance of home care? What is your favorite way to organize your OHE materials?


Hygiene Round Up- February


We are in full swing for February, which means National Children's Oral Health Month is almost over! What did you do to celebrate and educate on the importance of children's health? We were able to educate at a local school and take an amazing pediatric class from Spear to help improve our pedo game in office.  

Here are are few of our favorite things this month:

If you see irritation fibromas, maybe think twice about watching them for several years even if they don't bother the patient. With new research, there is a higher chance they'll turn into oral cancer then regular mucosa. 

Jessica and I signed up for ADHA Annual session this week! Who's going to be there? Let's connect!

Who does salivary testing in their office? We'd love to chat with you! Such an interesting field that I'd love to get more into.

I wouldn't be mad if I could wear these shoes to work everyday. 

Would you wear something like this, complete with calculus? I know I wouldn't.


Thanks for helping and supporting us here at Hygiene Edge! We mean it. Even over these last few slow months where we have been so busy! We're excited for big plans coming in the next few months!


The Power of Cross-Training in the Hygiene World

Check out this great article below by Dr. Courtney Lavigne, D.M.D. She is a Spear Education faculty member. Spear Education provides general and continuing education for the whole dental team. Check them out HERE. 

In the past, most dental offices considered hygienists responsible for cleaning teeth, and not much beyond that. Over the last decade, hygienists have increased the number of procedures they are routinely responsible for, from tooth whitening to delivering local anesthetic. It’s my prediction that this trend will continue, and in the coming decade, hygienists will play an even broader role in the dental office.

One of the greatest points of stress I hear from hygienists is the schedule. If the schedule isn’t full, many doctors panic. Some offices may have hygienists leave early or clock in or out at different hours based on the needs of the schedule. This can be frustrating and financially burdensome. One way to decrease the turmoil surrounding the schedule is to increase your abilities beyond hygiene.

Each state has specific rules and regulations for what a registered dental hygienist can and can’t do and what kind of supervision is required. Even if you’re in a state that limits your abilities clinically, increasing your skill set within the office you practice in can be incredibly helpful to your team and your doctor, and ultimately give you increased personal fulfillment.

Here are three things you can do within your own office to be a better team player, a more valuable asset and find a more rewarding role.

1. Give dental anesthetic.

Even if you are in an office that doesn’t require you to administer local, think about expanding your ability and getting licensed. It can be extremely helpful to have hygienists administering anesthetic, and not only when scaling and root planning is on the schedule. In my own office, we often book patients for restorative work following their hygiene visit. When this is the case, my hygienist will anesthetize my patient for me, decreasing the patient’s chair time and increasing the predictability of the doctor’s schedule. You may be surprised that even if you’re in an office that doesn’t have you administering, one day when the doctor’s schedule is jammed and you’ve got a free moment, the doc may take you up on your offer to help!

2. Learn how to set up doctor rooms for common procedures.

If you know how to break down and set up a room for your fellow team, it can be extremely helpful in those times where the schedule seems to be falling apart. If fillings and crowns are common procedures, start there. If you have five minutes before your next patient and you know the doctor is running behind, it can go a long way to get them ready for their next patient without it affecting your own schedule!

3. Become competent on the phone.

There used to be an invisible barrier in most offices between the administrative side and the clinical side. While some offices continue to operate the two departments quite independently of one another, if your office allows the opportunity, being comfortable in your phone skills can go a long way when things get backed up at the front checking patients in and out and handling finances. If the phone rings and there’s no one to answer it, but you’re free, it increases your office’s level of customer service to have a warm voice on the other end of the phone rather than a machine. Sometimes it may be to simply say you don’t have the answer the patient is looking for, but you know who does, and you can have that person call the patient back. It lightens the load of your teammates and increases rapport with your patients.

There are countless other ways you could increase your skill set in your office. Maybe it’s learning how to package up lab cases, take impressions, or fabricate whitening trays. Whatever it may be, start looking for opportunities in your own practice and talk to your doctor and your team about your interest. I know in my own practice, little could impress me more than a team member showing interest and taking initiative in a way that supports the entire office!


Student Feature- Fantazia -Future Dental Hygienist


We love you students! We were there once and we know how hard dental hygiene school is. We are always excited to hear what you are up to. We recently networked with a hygiene student and fellow You Tuber Fantazia. 

She is currently attending Atlanta Technical College and so far what she likes the best about school is, " clinic is my overall favorite; being able to meet so many different people and change someone's confidence with a dental cleaning free of charge is the best feeling!"

Her favorite subjects are oral embryology & dental hygiene lecture. Which, by-the-way Fantazia, I have been teaching embryology for the last 5 years and I love it too!

In school, she likes, "an instructor who is able to break down each topic and have an open discussion, and help hygiene students think outside the box."

When she graduates she would, "like to first start off as a Temp for a few years and also during that time travel with Global Dental Relief to different countries and change the lives of individuals who may not have access to dental care, it would be an amazing experience. Once I finish that phase of my life I want to work in a private practice, and be able to help my local community as well."

When asked if she had any funny stories from hygiene school her response was, "I’ve had SO many funny hygiene stories, That's the main reason I’ve felt like I have been able to make it through the program. My classmates are amazing people!" 

Her great advice for those hygiene students just starting out is,

"start strong, stay strong and finish strong!"

If you want to learn more about Fantazias' dental hygiene experience check out her YouTube channel HERE. Also, as a side note, we all have to budget our way through hygiene school, so check out her side job of providing hair extensions for others at