IFDH eNews: April 2022
Week of the Belgian Dental Hygienist: First time in 3 years!
Belgium celebrated the Week of the Dental Hygienist this year in March. It’s been 3 years since the first licensed Dental Hygienists started working in Belgium. It was a week full of virtual festivities and activities to raise awareness of the importance of oral health care among the general public. A lot of important International Actors shared there advice and the Belgian Federation for Dental Hygienists (BBM) even reached the national media. It is a great joy seeing our Dental Hygiene family has grown a lot over the years. As of today, 239 Dental Hygienists are licensed to work and this number will increase over the next years.
Advocating for Oral Health for Seniors
CDHA has launched a national advocacy campaign focusing on the oral health needs of Canada’s seniors. The first phase included release of a discussion paper on the importance of including oral care in national standards for long-term care homes, as well as the results of a public opinion poll on the state of oral care for seniors in Canada. To further highlight the urgency of this cause, CDHA has launched a letter-writing campaign to provincial and federal elected officials as well as a national television and billboard advertising campaign. We will also soon release a policy white paper, A National Oral Health Care Plan for Canadian Seniors.
Launching a Dental Hygiene Business
CDHA recently launched Business Fundamentals: Ready, Set, Launch, a new online course for professionals thinking of starting their own dental hygiene practice. Featuring five comprehensive modules, this course provides the necessary knowledge and tools to move forward with your dream of establishing and operating your own business. It will even help you determine if entrepreneurship is right for you. If you already own a business or are in the process of opening one, this course may reinforce your decision and identify areas for improvement.
Results of the 2021 Job Market & Employment Survey
In September 2021, CDHA conducted its biennial Job Market & Employment Survey. The questionnaire was sent to over 18,000 practicing members to collect data on key aspects of the profession, and we received a high response rate of 23%. We invite you to read the highlights of this survey.
Groundbreaking Law on Free Dental Care Passes in Denmark
Unlike most health care services in Denmark, Dental care is not free of charge for citizens over the age of 18 (for ages 0-18, it is free). That is about to change. A recent law extends the existing law on free dental care for citizens under the age of 18 to include ages 18-21. “A victory for dental health and a step towards politically acknowledging teeth and the mouth as important as the rest of our body”, says Chairwoman of the Danish Organization of Dental Hygienists, Elisabeth Gregersen. The law is effective starting in July 2022.
Spring Webinars Continue
Continuing from the success of our IDHA Spring webinars last year, this year’s first seminar presenter Dave Casey covered the always important topic of “Mental Health and Overall Wellbeing”. Our next webinar will be a continuation from Gary Moran discussing ‘Presentation Skills’ which we hope will further prepare any of our members looking to submit a poster at ISDH 2022.
Bursary for Social Responsibility Project
We would like to congratulate our ISDH Scientific Committee Chairperson Dr. Catherine Waldron (right) and Sviatlana Anuschuck (left) on receiving The Oral Health Promotion Research Group Bursary for their IFDH/IDHA Social Responsibility project. Their project is entitled “Development as a feasibility study of an intervention to introduce daily toothbrushing in pre-schools.”
Exchange of Ideas with Students on their Dental Hygiene Degree Path
For the last few years, AIDI has worked on a project called UniversitAIDI, aiming at creating initiatives targeted to university students on the path of their degree in Dental Hygiene. The project goal is interaction and exchange of ideas among students, who may also take an active part in the association life. Each University appoints a contact person, who is chosen among the AIDI associated students. They are spokespeople connecting AIDI and Universities, channelling training and information needs. Every year, students submit topics for the organization of events and specific training, which are usually very successful. This is one of the ways AIDI has chosen to give a voice to students, who will be the professionals of the future.
Suggested Retirement Age for Dental Hygienists
The Israeli government recently raised the retirement age for women, with some exceptions, one of which is “professional burnout”, including both physical and psychological aspects of the daily “wear and tear” of any given profession. The IDHA presented a position paper to the parliament requesting that Dental Hygiene be added to the list of professions which will not be included in this new law, thus allowing Dental Hygienists to retire earlier with full benefits.
Providing Better Treatment for Children with Challenges
Now that numbers of Covid-19 cases have diminished, we are back volunteering in abused women’s shelters. In January, GSK, in collaboration with the IDHA, organized a study day at SHALVA, a facility for children with various physical and mental challenges. The event was a huge success with informative lectures of how we can provide better treatment for this specific population.
Celebrating Women’s Day
In March we celebrated Women’s Day with over 200 Dental Hygienists participating in a fabulous conference, with lectures on the effects of drugs used to treat osteoporosis, women’s heart health and sexual harassment in the workplace.
Oral Health of Pregnant Women and Mothers Module
On March 20, 2022, The Association of Dental Hygienists in the Slovak Republic (ADHS) launched the nationwide project “Generation Without Decay” with a Module titled “You will be a mother - can you protect your baby?” The module focuses on the Oral Health of pregnant women and mothers with children under the age of one. With this module, ADHS joins the theme of IFDH projects “Social Responsibility Empowering Women 2021-2022”, which aims to empower women through better Oral Health.
Radio Interviews & Brushing Awareness
The Oral Hygienist’s Association of South Africa (OHASA) had a successful Oral Health month in March. We participated in Clicks Pharmacy Radio Interviews, a total of four separate interviews from different provinces, highlighting the vital link for overall health. Oral Hygienists also carried out brushing awareness in the rural areas with brushes donated by Colgate.
New Research: COVID-19 and the Dental Hygienist
In February, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, in partnership with the American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, hosted a webinar entitled “New Research Release: COVID-19 and the Dental Hygienist”. Within this webinar, Research Analysts, Rachel Morrissey and Dr. Cameron Estrich, and Dr. JoAnn Gurenlian, ADHA’s Director of Education and Research, presented summaries of a longitudinal study conducted of nearly 7,000 Dental Hygienists across the US related to employment patterns, infection prevention and control, PPE, and vaccine intention and hesitancy. The manuscripts are published in the February issue of the Journal of Dental Hygiene.
Leadership Summit & Conference
On March 4th and 5th, ADHA hosted a two-day Virtual Leadership Summit for those individuals who were interested in gaining additional skills in communication, power and influence, cancel culture, change management, ethics in health care, multi-generational workforce, decision making, motivation and engagement, and creating a legacy and succession planning. In addition, we will hold an in-person Leadership Conference just before our Annual Conference on June 22nd and 23rd in Louisville, Kentucky.