Dental Hygienists in High Demand as Candy Sales, Cavities Increase This Halloween

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The National Confectioners Association expects candy sales to hit the billions in 2006. This economic sugar rush can in turn lead to more dental visits. The American Dental Hygiene Association reports dental decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood. The need for more dental hygiene causes a rising need for hygienists and dental hygiene programs.

As candy sales and tooth decay in children hit high numbers this Halloween, dental hygienists are also in high demand. The combination of candy and tooth decay strengthens job prospects for not only the growing number of dental hygienists, but also dental hygiene programs. In a report released Friday, the American Dental Hygienist Association (ADHA) warns that without the development of more dental schools and advancement of dental hygienists, other health professionals will be responsible for the public's oral healthcare needs, especially in underserved populations.

In conjunction with one of the sweetest holidays of the year, the ADHA marks October as Dental Hygiene Month, focusing on childhood oral health. "Dental hygienists are the frontline of defense against oral disease, and play an essential role in the prevention of early childhood caries, as well as the education of both parents and children on the importance of proper oral health habits," states ADHA President Marge L. Green.

In 2004, the Commission on Dental Accreditation accredited 266 programs in dental hygiene. Many of these programs and other resources can be found online, especially through school directory sites such as ( Most dental hygiene programs grant an associate degree, although some also offer a certificate program.

Obtaining a degree from a dental hygiene program can lead to employment in one of the fastest growing industries. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow much faster than average for all dental jobs through 2014. This growth is in response to increasing demand for dental care and the need for hygienists to perform services previously performed by dentists. ( is a school directory dedicated to career education and training. Students and professionals can easily find the schools, colleges, professional training programs, and career development resources necessary for their career and personal fulfillment.


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