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    5 New Year’s resolutions every dental hygienist should make

    From eating healthier to establishing a workout routine, the new year is the perfect time to set goals for yourself.



    Do You Even Lift, Bro? | Resolution: Go to the Gym

    A recent study4 found that nearly 40 percent of dental hygiene students meet specific criteria for burnout.  How many of you just rolled your eyes? These are students who are still excited to wear “live life to the maxillary” shirts and bedazzle “RDH” on their graduation caps. They haven’t been given a daily goal, worked through their lunch or attempted a heavy SRP with scalers that would be better served as spoons. How are they already experiencing hygiene burnout?!

    The most common factors associated with initial burnout were musculoskeletal pain, lack of leisure time and lack of a healthy lifestyle. Let’s add on years of patients who refuse to swallow their own saliva while in your chair, the perpetually late patients and, our favorite, the patients who refuse all of our professional recommendations. It is clear why so many of us truly feel the weight of the hygiene world on our ergonomically-weak shoulders.

    Read more: 8 things dental professionals need to know about exercise

    I implore you, in this new year, to wipe down your room, drop those instruments in the autoclave and put on some gym clothes. Make a commitment to yourself and the vitality of your career by taking the time to establish a workout routine that will keep you strong and motivated.

    Just like quitting smoking, the body experiences incredible effects of routine exercise. Continuous exercise releases endogenous endorphins, which are similar in structure to that of morphine. Endorphins are responsible for “runner’s high” as they interact with our brain and trigger a positive feeling of euphoria in the body. Core exercises provided by Pilates and yoga train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony, providing improved posture especially during patient care. High-intensity cardio training provided by HIIT, OrangeTheory Fitness and Jazzercise burn fat and calories rapidly, improve aerobic capacity and increase metabolism.

    And, perhaps the best benefit to routine exercise is looking fabulous in that bikini (or speedo)!


    Katrina M. Sanders RDH, BSDH, M.Ed, RF
    Katrina M Sanders RDH, BSDH, M.Ed, RF, is a graduate and recipient of countless awards from the University of Minnesota’s School of ...


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