In the early 20th century, a few progressive dentists promoted the idea of preventive care and transformed the health of the nation over the next 100 years. First implemented in public schools, regular oral hygiene and patient education significantly reduced tooth decay and mouth disease. Who performed the work? Dental hygienists—a profession launched in 1913 that numbers more than 181,000 practitioners in 2013.
This exhibit explores the way the dental hygiene profession has developed over time and the contributions it has made to preventative oral health care. Be sure to check out the rest of our online exhibit to read a Timeline of Dental Hygiene, watch footage of Early Hygienists in the Classroom, or see photos of the Michigan Dental Hygienists' Association Visit to China. Don't forget to visit the museum to see the full exhibit and learn more about:
- Establishing the Profession
- The Practice Takes Shape
- Michigan—A Leader in Hygiene
- Improving Public Health