Hygienist Confession: Yeah, I Leave Stain. Here’s Why.


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I am a “self-proclaimed” perfectionist. I need to know I am doing the best job I can while striving to do it better. Sound familiar? A little like most hygienists you know?


If you had asked me ten years ago that I would knowingly leave stain on people’s teeth, I would have laughed. Knowing this may have caused me to lose sleep at night. I would have been embarrassed if any dentist came behind me to do an exam and found stain. For years, this was an issue; striving for perfection in my clinical technique while ensuring when the patient was in my chair, I did the best by them and for them. Home-care has always been ingrained in my appointment schedule, but due to appointment time constraints, I would spend the necessary time performing clinical care as opposed to teaching the patient how to maintain their own oral health.


My homecare instructions were thorough but were missing something. That something was the patient.