Five Minutes with Julie Rothwell, RDH. Dental Hygienist
1. Where did you start your Hygienist Career?
My Dental journey began in 2013 when I moved from my homeplace in Clonegal to Cork City to train as Dental Nurse in Cork University Dental School and Hospital.
In my years in CUDSH I worked in all areas of dentistry including: the Central Sterile Services Department, Orthodontics, Periodontics, Restorative, Paediatrics, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine and Dental Theatre. I was lucky enough to work there as both a student and staff member.
From my first year as a Dental Nurse I knew that becoming a Dental Hygienist was the next career step I wished to take. I was eager to become more ‘hands on’ in my career as I love interacting and caring for patients. I worked hard to gain a place in the Dental Hygiene course in University College Cork and thankfully, I was successful.
2. What do you enjoy most about Dental Hygiene?
My favourite part of being a Hygienist is educating my patients on how to care for their teeth in a way that they can incorporate into their lifestyle. Seeing how little alterations in their oral hygiene regime can really change their smile and oral health is a great pleasure for me.
I love the ‘hands on’ side of this career but my job isn’t just about cleaning teeth. This is just one small part. Being able to make patients feel at ease and working together to accomplish their oral health goals is what I always aim to achieve.
3. What have you done to improve your skills and knowledge?
I have completed a Dental Nursing and Dental Radiography course. Attended professional development seminars for Dental Nurses & Dental Hygienists. I have my BLS (basic life support) up to date. Certificates in various dental related courses.
4. Can you explain some more about Oral Hygiene information?
Oral hygiene information consists of:
- Explanations of the causes of dental decay and gum disease and how to prevent these health problems occurring.
- Toothbrush and interdental aid recommendations.
- Brushing techniques demonstrations.
- Toothpaste and mouth rinse advice.
5. Why should I use interdental aids?
As most people are aware, dental plaque is the fundamental cause of both dental decay and gum disease. But only 60% of dental plaque is removed from tooth brushing alone! So, to remove the other 40% we need to use interdental aids. Depending on your teeth there is a variety of products you can use to remove plaque from between your teeth. If the plaque is left to accumulate there it will harden into harmful tartar. This can lead to decay, gum inflammation and eventual tooth loss.
6. What is your Top Tip for oral health?
My Top Tip!
Keep your interdental aids always somewhere handy and nearby. Doesn’t have to be done in a bathroom! I find keeping flossers in the kitchen handy for cleaning after meals.
7. What do you do in your spare time?
Outside of work my hobbies consist of makeup artistry, arts & crafts, gardening and travel. I have even completed an ITEC level certificate in Makeup in 2016 in Cork College of Commerce. Whenever I get the opportunity, I love exploring new places. Whether it’s in Ireland or abroad I’m always adding to my bucket list of places to visit.