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What’s the first step into becoming a Dental hygienist?

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John’s Answer

Ayanna a dental hygienist career requirement typically is an associate degree in dental hygiene. Many dental hygienists hold an associates degree, such as an Associate for Applied Science in Dental Hygiene. 2-year degree programs are available at community colleges, vocational institutes, or dental schools. Students are prepared for careers through both classroom and clinical instruction. Programs will focus on teaching you to use dental software, tools, and machines. Courses may include oral pathology, dental materials, radiology, infection control, pain management, periodontics, community dental health, and pharmacology. You'll need to develop solid interpersonal skills; dental hygienists work with patients on a daily basis and often have to explain dental procedures. You must also be compassionate, since patients may be in severe pain or be fearful of dental procedures. Other skills you need for this career include dexterity, decision-making, and critical thinking. Beyond a degree, licensing is a requirement in all states. Eligibility requirements vary, but nearly all states call for applicants to hold postsecondary credentials from accredited dental hygiene programs. Other requirements can include CPR certification, school transcripts, and/or letters of recommendation.

Hope this is helpful Ayanna

John recommends the following next steps:

Although not required, high school courses in health, biology, mathematics, chemistry, and psychology can help candidates gain the knowledge they need to earn admittance into a dental hygienist program.

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Marissa’s Answer

Hi Ayanna! Dental hygienist here. I would say the first step is identify which hygiene program(s) you might want to apply to. Next, look at the prerequisites required for each program. That way you can begin to map out which classes you should take first (usually general ed and then heavy in the sciences).

Marissa recommends the following next steps:

If possible ask a hygienist if you can shadow them for a day so you can see what their day is really like before you commit. :)
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