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Becoming a dental hygienist in Canada

Forbes recently named dental hygienist as the #1 best job in health care, and since it’s becoming a more in-demand career in Canada, it’s worth a look.

What do dental hygienists do?

A lot more than just cleaning teeth. Dental hygienists educate patients, check for oral cancers, prevent cavities by placing sealants, administer fluoride treatments, examine your gums, and assess each patient’s overall healthcare. There’s definitely a lot of science and expertise involved, but all of it has a purpose and is related to helping patients achieve optimal oral health.

In Canada, there are three ways you can become a dental hygienist.

  1. A 2 to 3-year advanced diploma program offered at most colleges in Ontario. The good news? Ontario is pretty much the mecca in Canada for dental hygiene schooling, so you’re already in the right place.
  2. A bachelor of dental hygiene, which is offered at Dalhousie University and the University of British Columbia. These bachelor degrees also allow you to teach dental hygiene.
  3. A private college program for dental hygiene, which is a bit more expensive than the first two options.

Would you enjoy being a dental hygienist?

  • If you’re into healthcare but want to avoid shift-work, dental hygienists have stellar working hours and the option to work part-time.
  • It’s a great job for individuals with strong people skills! If you like chatting and working closely with people, it’s a good fit.
  • Dental hygienists spend much of their day standing, leaning and working with their hands. If you are comfortable with a more physical career, then it’s a great choice for you.

To find out more about a career in dental hygiene check The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association website.