Tag Archives: dental hygienists

At century mark, dental hygienists celebrate changing profession

Mary Otto

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Dental hygienists

Image by The National Guard via flickr.

Dental hygienists from around the world celebrated the 100th anniversary of their profession in Boston over the past week at the annual meeting of the American Dental Hygienists Association.

It was in 1913 that a Bridgeport, Conn., dentist, Dr. Alfred Fones, opened the world’s first dental hygiene school. The first dental hygienist was Fones’ cousin and chairside assistant Irene Newman.

These days, more than 181,000 dental hygienists are at work in the United States, cleaning teeth, examining for oral disease, providing preventive care and educating patients about maintaining and improving their oral health, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Continue reading