Pearly Whites of Wisdom
Last week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Yasmeen Ghouse. Yasmeen lives in Adelaide, Australia. She is a wife and a mum of two gorgeous girls. Apart from being a fantastic mum to her littles, Yasmeen aka Yas is a Dental Hygienist at a family dental practice 3 days a week.
When asked what she enjoys most about her work, Yasmeen’s eager reply was that contrary to popular layman belief; “No two sets of mouths are ever the same”. She thoroughly enjoys the challenges that her career brings and the profession is never monotonous.
What does Job Satisfaction Mean to Someone in Your Industry?
It’s also professionally satisfying when I see my patient’s dental journey from starting with multiple issues to achieving a stable mouth and maintaining it. Overtime when I see patients, I also get to know them a bit and they get to know me a bit as well. You build a relationship and there are times when they feel like extended family.
What Do You NOT Enjoy About Your Work?
Honestly there is not a lot I don’t enjoy about my work. I suppose I don’t like it when patients have unrealistic expectations. For instance if a patient hasn’t been to the dentist; for say ten or twenty years, often we can’t fix their teeth issues in an hour or a day, it takes a lot longer.
Also, I am not a big fan of patients who don’t take ownership of their own issues. I always tell my patients I can see them week in and week out but unless they are willing to do the right thing at home and follow simple oral care routine at home, it’s not going to help their cause.
What we do in the dental chair to maintain oral hygiene is only 40%, 60% of it is still what you do at home to maintain it
How many sets of teeth do you see on average?
On average, I’d see around 8-9 patients a day. Sometimes, we do get few emergencies as well.
Aren’t Dental Hygienists Bored of the Same Spiel Where You Inform People About Teeth Hygiene?
I can never have enough of extolling the virtues of flossing & brushing ha! ha! But on a serious note, it’s a firm no as every patient I see get a tailor made home dental care plan that fits them.
What works for a teenager might not work for an elderly patient.
I try and see the whole picture and often that goes beyond dental hygiene alone. I look into the patient’s diet, their medications and its oral effects, para functions and so much more.
What Are The Different Kinds of Problems You See With Children and Their Teeth?
Baby teeth are important for many reasons. They help the child eat, speak and smile. They also play a vital role in keeping the correct space for the adult teeth to move into later on. Sadly a lot of parents don’t understand this importance and neglect baby teeth. Just like adult teeth, baby teeth can decay from the time they appear in the mouth. It can cause pain, discomfort, sleep problems and eating problems in the child which can be quite distressing for parents too.
Apart from decay, sometimes teeth can be missing or is in the wrong spot which could later have an impact on the adult teeth.
Oral habits such as thumb, digit or dummy sucking for a prolonged period of time can affect not only adult teeth but facial appearances as well
What Makes You Unique As a Dental Hygienist?
Honestly, I think my patients should be asked this question. But as a patient I am very anxious on the chair. So I am empathetic to patients who suffer from dental anxiety and there are a lot of them. I tend look at the bigger picture and I think this came with experience. Being in this field for about ten years has taught me that one learns something new every day. One should just be open to learning from your mistakes, consult your peers and take criticisms, which happens from time to time, in your stride.
How is Your Work Fun?
I am very lucky to work with a fantastic team who have always got my back and an understanding boss. We support each other, pick up each other’s slack when schedules sometimes get out of control and have lots of fun behind closed doors. We are like one big family who tease and play pranks on each other, obviously ones that don’t involve patients.
Dentistry is a ‘people industry’ so it is very important to work with the right set of people.
Would You Love to Keep Being a Dental Hygienist?
Without a doubt. As weird as it may sound, would you believe if I said it actually is my dream job? I love the flexibility it affords me in terms of work life balance and the satisfaction of making life a little bit better for someone.