How to Become a Dental Hygienist

Hey there, future dental hygienist! If you’re interested in pursuing a career in dental hygiene, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be discussing how to become a dental hygienist, the requirements, and what you can expect from this rewarding career.

What is a Dental Hygienist?

A dental hygienist is a licensed oral health professional who works alongside dentists to provide preventive oral care services, such as teeth cleaning, dental exams, and X-rays. They also educate patients on proper oral hygiene techniques and assist dentists during procedures.

What are the Requirements to Become a Dental Hygienist?

To become a dental hygienist, you must complete a dental hygiene program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). These programs can take anywhere from two to four years to complete and result in either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. In addition to completing the program, you must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination (NBDHE) and a clinical examination. You may also need to obtain a license to practice dental hygiene in your state, which typically requires passing a state-specific examination.

What Skills are Needed to be a Dental Hygienist?

To be a successful dental hygienist, you should have excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and good manual dexterity. You should also be comfortable working closely with patients, have the ability to work independently, and have strong critical thinking skills.

What Can You Expect From a Career in Dental Hygiene?

As a dental hygienist, you can expect a rewarding career helping patients maintain good oral health. You’ll work closely with dentists and other oral health professionals, and have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings, including private dental offices, public health clinics, and hospitals.Salary-wise, the median annual salary for dental hygienists in the United States is around $76,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and education.

How to Prepare for a Career in Dental Hygiene

If you’re interested in becoming a dental hygienist, there are several things you can do to prepare. First, take science and math courses in high school to lay a strong foundation for your college coursework. Next, research dental hygiene programs to find one that’s right for you. Talk to current dental hygienists and ask for their advice, and consider attending a dental hygiene information session or open house.Finally, gain experience in the field through internships or volunteer work. This will not only give you valuable hands-on experience but also make you a more competitive candidate when applying to dental hygiene programs.

TIPS: How to Succeed in Your Dental Hygiene Program

Once you’re accepted into a dental hygiene program, it’s important to stay focused and motivated to succeed. Here are some tips to help you along the way:1. Stay organized and manage your time effectively.2. Attend all of your classes and take detailed notes.3. Participate in study groups and ask questions when you’re unsure of something.4. Practice good self-care to avoid burnout and stay healthy.5. Seek out opportunities for hands-on experience, such as internships or clinical rotations.


Becoming a dental hygienist requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for helping others maintain good oral health. By completing an accredited dental hygiene program, passing the necessary exams, and gaining hands-on experience, you can prepare for a rewarding career in this field. We hope this article has provided you with valuable information and insight into what it takes to become a dental hygienist. Good luck on your journey, and we’ll see you again soon for more educational content!