A dentist and a dental hygienist look inside a mouth

6 Things Dental Hygienists Think While Looking Inside Your Mouth

Dental hygienists have a notoriously gross job. Some people enjoy looking into peoples’ mouths on the daily, but even the most passionate dental hygienists probably have a few annoyed or negative thoughts about peoples’ mouths every once in a while.

  1. “Rotten Teeth = Dollar Signs”
    While most people would think looking at the grossest of all the mouths out there would be entirely unpleasant, dental hygienists know gross mouths are what keeps them in business. See a cavity? That’s more money in their pocket. The money may be distributed indirectly, but the point remains the same. As seemingly gross as dentistry can be, there’s certainly a reason why so many people choose it as a profession.  
  2.  “Clearly You Never Floss Your Teeth”
    No matter how many weak little lies you tell yourself and your hygienist about your brushing and flossing habits, your dental hygienist can tell what’s happening and what’s not. When the hygienist is the one who is digging the gunk out of the one tooth that hasn’t been flossed since your last checkup six months ago, your fear of judgment is most likely passing fleetingly through their heads. Not to worry, though; you’re not alone. Dental hygienists see this all the time.
  3. “When I Say ‘Open,’ I Don’t Mean ‘Close’”
    We’ve all experienced the moronically difficult task of trying to hold your mouth open for minutes at a time while people stick things in your mouth. If it’s embarrassing for you have to be told to open your mouth 15 times in two minutes, it’s certainly annoying for the dental hygienist who has to constantly ask. Image those 15 times they had to ask you, multiplied by the 40 other people they tend to each day.
  4. “Stop Putting Your Tongue All Over My Tools”
    When dental hygienists use those cold, metal tools and mirrors, people like to put their tongues all over them. For the hygienist who’s just trying to get a good look at the back tooth, it’s extremely aggravating for people’s tongues to be blocking their view.
  5. “Why Aren’t You Swallowing Your Spit?”
    For whatever reason, people forget to swallow their own spit when they’re at the dentist. As that gross pool of saliva starts to build in the back of your mouth, it moves slowly toward the hand of the hygienist who’s just trying to scrape the plaque off of your teeth. As often as they probably see that disgusting little spit pool, it’s got to be a constant wonder why people just all of the sudden forget to swallow.
  6. “I Hate This Job”
    Some studies say dentistry is actually among the professions with the highest suicides rates. Recent studies have called this into question, but regardless, if a primary reason for seeking the profession is the money you can earn, it’s entirely probable that some dental hygienists just really hate their job. 
Last Updated: April 15, 2015