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Dental hygienists, in general, who are not using the right magnification optical aids are more prone to various musculoskeletal ailments like back pain, shoulder stress, and neck fatigue than those who are using dental loupes. However, using just any type of dental magnification loupes alone does not guarantee that you will never experience any musculoskeletal pain at the end of each working day. You need to find, pick, and use the right type of loupes that fits your specific requirements in order to enjoy its ergonomic benefit.
Ergonomic posture is typically not natural for many of us. And it takes time and patience to practice working while maintaining an ergonomic posture or upright position. It is our natural instinct to lean closer to small objects in order for us to see them better. And this is also true to dental hygienists who are working with a rather remote and dark operating area.
As a dental hygienist, it is normal for you to tilt your heads downward, and to bend your body forward to get a closer and clearer view of your patient's oral cavity. Keeping this position all throughout the dental procedure you are performing can lead not only to temporary musculoskeletal pains but also to hygiene hunchback and chronic occupational diseases. This can be corrected by doing posture exercises on a regular basis. Aside from exercising, it also helps to maintain an upright position when working.
Achieving ergonomic posture
Although ergonomic posture is not a natural position, it does not mean that you can't anymore achieve a healthy posture while working. The best way to achieve ergonomic posture is to work with the right dental loupes.
Dental optical loupes allow you to see your work area clearly and closely within your working distance. And since they enhance your visual acuity, the need for you to tilt your heads downward, and to bend your body forward is eliminated. They let you sit or stand up in an upright position and work more comfortably. Instead of tilting the head, you will only have to slightly rotate your eyes down to see your operating site.
The best loupes for ergonomic posture
Both through the lens and flip up dental magnifying loupes are specially designed to provide comfort while working. However, not all loupes provide the best ergonomic benefits.
While getting accustomed to using an ergonomic loupe is a bit challenging, it is best to start with traditional dental optical loupes. Traditional hygienist loupes with small declination angles support natural behavior and they are easier to use than ergonomic loupes.
Using traditional non-ergonomic loupes can help you avoid occupational musculoskeletal pains, at least for the first few years of use. However, since they are not specifically designed for ergonomic posture, shoulders, neck, and upper back pain may develop in the long run. Before this happens, it is best to switch to ergonomic dental hygienist loupes. Once you already have successfully get used to working with the traditional loupes, you may then start using ergonomic dental magnification loupes for you to enjoy a more efficient and pain-free practice.