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5 Habits of Healthy Hygienists

5 Habits of Healthy Hygienists
Michele LaBasi

Being happy is trending right now. We can credit the Millennials for bringing this value to the forefront. Not that people throughout the ages didn’t desire happiness but it was considered a future reward for hard work being done in the present. For some, the future never came.


We can have happiness now through our habits. I’ll focus on 5 of them:


1. Health- “If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything” – Chuck Pagano.

  • Health is wellness. It’s based on habits we form in multiple aspects of our lives that will either improve or destroy our wellness. Most of us know what we should do to develop and maintain our wellness but forget we are the only one who can do it for us.
  • We often take care of others before ourselves and come up short on the happiness scale. Our jobs deplete us as we give, give, givvvve to people who need our care, who we work with and work for.
  • Never forget that taking care of others requires taking care of yourself first. Most of us who work chair side feel as if we are chained to our chairs. So much so that we rarely get a chance to take care of our basic needs, like re-hydrating or visiting a restroom.
  • Surround yourself with people who will help replenish what you spend from your wellness wallet. Don’t sacrifice your wellness. You get one body to live your life in. Love it and take care of it.


Don’t sacrifice your wellness. You get one body to live your life in. Love it and take care of it.


2. Homework- Say what?

  • I bet you thought you were done having homework. Homework is a lifelong event except it’s not called homework anymore, it’s called being prepared. It’s looking at the next day’s charts to see if a patient has a condition you should review to provide the best care and instruction. It’s knowing what you’ll need for supplies so they’ll be available the moment you need them. It’s doing more than the minimum, such as continuing education so you’ll always be in the know or know who to go to when a question comes up.
  • The habit of being prepared benefits not only yourself but others as well. When others benefit from work you’ve done, they are happy and more pleasant to be around. That’s a win-win!

3. Help- it goes both ways.

  • There are some people who don’t want help. They think they don’t need it and they certainly don’t want it from you. Let them be. They are the ones that suck the happiness out of you anyway. The majority of people in the world welcome help. You have skills and talents that are in high demand. Too often we underestimate who we are and what we have to give.
  • Help goes the other direction too. If you are offered help, take it! In fact, expect help from others. Get in the habit of speaking up so people will know you need it.

4. Handy—prevention isn’t just about patient’s teeth

  • Being handy requires taking care of what’s been entrusted to us. Just as a handyman has a toolkit, hygienists use a unique set of tools or in our case, instruments and equipment to carry out our jobs. With our focus of prevention we should try to stay ahead of breakdown issues by taking care of what we have. We may not be handy enough to fix something, but we should at least try to maintain it.  


5. Honor—the habit of giving honor comes in many forms.

    • Having respect for each other is honorable and is taught from an early age. We should respect our elders, those in authority, and especially respect ourselves.
    • Giving honor where honor is due is a great habit of praising someone when it’s deserved. Say it and receive it. After all, you probably deserved the recognition.
    • Always honor an obligation. Whether you were assigned or signed up for it, complete it. The task may be daunting but think how happy you will be after it’s done! Success!

“Your little choices become habits that affect the bigger decisions you make in life.” Elizabeth George


Get in the habit of making someone happy—YOU!
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