I understand that it can be a surprise to some people to see a male dental hygienist.

“Are you a new dentist here?”

“No, I’m a hygienist, and I’ll be taking care of you today

“Oh okay, normally a girl cleans my teeth.”

Over the past two years in dental hygiene school at Columbus State, and now working at Schumacher & Bauer as a dental hygienist, I can’t tell you how many times I have had this exchange with patients. Patients are not used to seeing a male dental hygienist.

Just like male nurses, society has told us that this role should be done by a woman. It is becoming more common to see male dental hygienists in the workplace, but I understand that it is still a little strange for some. I see this in some of my patients as they are unsure about how to feel that a man is cleaning their teeth, and I want to reassure them that they are in the best of hands. I love every patient that I see and care for each of them as if they were my mother. More often than not we end up having the BEST of times and they can’t wait to come back.

In addition to dental hygienist historically being a role done by a woman, I also took the place of an amazing hygienist, Joan Fischer. Joan’s patients had been coming to her for years, so it was quite a switch when she retired. These patients were comfortable in their “dental routine,” and switching it up on them may have made some of them feel a little uneasy. It’s difficult to experience change in life, especially in the medical part of life where so much trust is given to the medical provider taking care of them. But I’ve appreciated that they’ve embraced me.

Change is hard! Societal change, personal change, but especially change related to a medical provider that you have been seeing for a long time. Not all change is bad though, and we male dental hygienists (or Guygenists!) are here to help you to make sure you’re comfortable and on track to a healthy mouth!

Want to become a new patient and have Jake as your hygienist? Call us today!

Jake Hanley, Schumacher & Bauer hygienist's headshot

Author: Jake Hanely

Jake is a recent graduate of Columbus State in Dental Hygiene, May 2017. He was born and raised in Columbus and in his spare time spends time with his niece and nephew.