What I Wish I Would’ve Known Before Dental Hygiene School — Hygiene Edge


Welcome to the new class of dental hygiene students!! You’re about to embark on a new word of science, education, friendship, relationships, patients, all the things. It definitely is a journey, but so worth it! Looking back after years of being out of dental hygiene school, and now being an instructor to many students, there are so many things I wish I could tell myself on that very first day of school. I had no idea what I was getting into! However, you’ll learn quickly and start to get the flow of classwork, tests and clinic, all happening at the same time. Here is a bit of advice I wish I could’ve told myself on that day in 2007.

  1. Follow the dress code. I know that seems silly. However, I was no fan of the boxy scrubs we were required to wear, the all white clunky shoes, and the hair completely slicked back. However, it is such a visual representation of you. Show your dedication to the profession by following along with the guidelines. Your instructors will definitely notice when you’re trying to push the dress code envelope, so don’t make them notice something negative about you! Think of it as your work uniform and as soon as you graduate, you can have a bit more freedom with what you wear.

  2. Don’t stress about boards yet. Everything you’re going to be learning in these semesters will be on boards. However, it ends to build on each other as you get into more advanced courses in your dental hygiene program. Just focus on what’s happening right now, and worry about boards in your last semester. You’ll have time between now and then to figure out your own study habits, what board review book or course you want to purchase, and will make study groups that will make boards so much better.

  3. Your instructors are there to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask for clarification, or reach out with whatever! Obviously look at the syllabus for helpful timeline questions and requirements, but if something is confusing, definitely reach out. They want you to succeed. In a few short years, you’ll be a colleague and not a student.

  4. Get a great planner/way to organize your life. There will be several deadlines throughout each semester. And when I say several, I mean way too many to keep in your mind. Having some sort of organizer, either online or either a book, makes such a difference to not miss deadlines, have enough time to prepare for exams, and know when clinic requirements need to be met.

Last but not least, you can definitely do it! The first few weeks are overwhelming getting all the books, requirements, notes, and rules down. However, you’ll get the hang of it quicker than you think. Plus, you have a classroom full of new friends that are going through the exact same thing as you. Use them as a resource to learn from and grow with.

There are so many more!! Make sure you’re following along to our TikTok @hygieneedge where we’ve been posting all of our new dental hygiene student advice! 

xo, Melia

To learn more about being a dental hygiene student, check out:

Things to Work on During A Break

Advice for the Dental Hygiene Grad


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