You don’t have to have an aching tooth or a problem with your gums to want to go and see your dentist anymore – getting your teeth cleaned is a good way to keep yourself healthy. Studies have shown that having poor dental health can translate into having poor health in other areas of your body, including heart disease. Getting a regular teeth cleaning from your dentist’s office is a simple way to help keep yourself in overall good health and potentially avoid chronic health conditions and needing to take lots of medication.

When you go to your dentist’s office for a regular tooth cleaning and checkup, you will probably see a dental hygienist. If you have no cavities or other surgical needs, they will be the person who cleans your teeth, makes sure you don’t have any obvious problems, and let you know what you can do at home to keep your teeth strong. The demand for dental hygienists in Houston has grown in the past decade, due to the trend in people seeking more preventive care. It is projected to grow even higher in the next 10 years.

The yearly salary for a dental hygienist in Houston, on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $70,210. This is more than $33 an hour. This pay scale is about double the national average income, and this allows many dental hygienists to comfortably work part-time if they want. You need at least an associate degree to become a dental hygienist, which includes hands-on training on using all the appropriate tools and proper dental procedures for cleaning, among other things. All states require dental hygienists to have a license to work. If you are getting your degree from an accredited school, they most likely will have a licensing program in place for you to easily get your license. This is a great option for people who want a good career helping others stay healthy.

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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