Life Of A Dental Hygienist

Before becoming a clinical instructor at the dental hygiene school, I used to be a dental hygienist providing residential general teeth care for almost a decade. Although my work used to include only cleaning of teeth (removing of plaque, tartar, and stains from teeth), applying fluorides and sealants and checking for gingivitis and other oral diseases, I still needed to lean closer to my patient's mouth in order to have better access to the oral cavity.

During my first few years of practice, I felt occasional pains in my lower back, upper back, neck, and shoulder. I thought these pains are just normal to hygienists like me given the nature of my job. At first, the pain can easily fade away after taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and after getting a gentle massage. However, I noticed that the musculoskeletal pain that I am feeling is getting severe as years went by. And what's worse is that I slowly became a hunchback hygienist.

I thought I was just hunching over when performing dental care procedures. However, I did not realize that I have already developed a crouching posture even after work. Many times I can feel someone tapping my shoulder and telling me to watch my posture. One day I had the courage to look at myself closely and examine my posture while standing in front of a huge mirror. The image that I saw in front of me is that of a person with a slouching back. This dreadful reality made me realize that it is about time for me to do something to correct my posture problem before it gets even worse.

Correcting the crouching posture problem

Aside from healthy diet and doing exercises specific to correct posture issues on regular basis, I also purchased and used a saddle-type dental chair. These methods did great but I felt like I needed something else to help correct my posture. So I searched online and learned about ergonomic dental loupes for hygienists.

I purchased my own dental hygienist loupes and used them in my practice. Getting used to working with dental loupes was a bit tricky at first. But with merely 2.5x magnification and a less than 20 degrees declination angle, I was able to successfully get through the challenges that a typical first-time loupes user usually experience.

Since getting accustomed to using dental magnification loupes, my posture has improved a lot. Plus, I never experienced any musculoskeletal pains and eyestrain anymore. Not only that, the dental loupes also greatly improved my vision and since they allow me to see the teeth very clearly and closely without the need for me to hunch over, I was able to improve my productivity and the quality of the dental care service I offer as well.

Spreading the good news

Dental Headlight

Magnification optical aids such as dental loupes are not commonly introduced in dental hygiene school. If only I was able to learn about dental optical loupes as early as dental hygiene school during my time, I shouldn't have had the same experience. Now that I am working at a dental hygiene school as a clinical instructor I always see to it that my students do not just know about but also use dental loupes and other ergonomic dental tools and equipment.

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