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How to Be a Great Dental Hygienist


The best dental hygienists have certain traits in common that enable them to excel in their profession. Among them are excellent interpersonal and organizational skills, along with high ethical values and critical judgment and decision-making strengths. They also have a natural ability to be self-sufficient and complete a multitude of clinical tasks.

Here’s a closer look at those characteristics that describe the best hygienists:

They enjoy working with people.

A pleasant, respectful chairside manner is a must. You need to truly look forward to and enjoy your working day. In addition to working with patients, you must enjoy collaborating with the rest of the staff and helping to create a pleasant overall environment.

They are patient, understanding and positive.

A good dental hygienist is empathetic to others at all times, regardless of a patient’s condition or mood. Most people sitting in a dental chair are nervous, if not downright scared. It’s part of your job to hear them out and put them at ease. If you are calm and certain, you will convey this to your patients. This is a huge benefit, both to them and to the dentist.

They have strong communication skills.

Friendly one-on-one communication is key to your success as a hygienist. You need to effectively convey the importance of good, ongoing dental care, including the patient’s role in making this happen. And, you need to do so without being an alarmist or using too many technical terms.

They possess physical stamina.

Whether you are sitting or standing, as a dental hygienist, you are on the go all day long, moving around in the clinical environment and using your hands and arms for repetitive motion.

They are detail oriented.

There is very little room to work inside a person’s mouth, so you must pay careful attention to every detail. Excellent clinical dexterity is a must. Even the slightest nudge to a sensitive tooth can be extremely painful for a patient.

They are passionate about good oral health.

As a hygienist, you are constantly educating patients about their dental health. Part of your job is to be a solid role model, helping people to focus on preventive care, to avoid disease, and to be actively involved in healing and treatment.

Think you’ve got what it takes to become a dental hygienist – or to jump start your existing career?

The Medicalpros Recruiting +Staffing team can help. We’ve been the Northwest leader in matching healthcare pros with the bet jobs available for more than 20 years. Contact us today so we can tell you more.

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