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Meet Dana

My RDH Origin Story

When I tell my RDH origin story, I always say that it was a windy and twisty road. Who would have thought that a kid who got her 2 front teeth knocked out would become a dental hygienist? Not me. Especially because my dad pushed them back into their sockets, and we went on about our day.

 

Once I started dental hygiene school, I truly felt like I was right where I belonged. However, underneath my high functioning exterior, a tight ball of anxiety was stuck in my chest. Before and during dental hygiene school, I experienced failures, multiple rejections, soul-crushing anxiety, and depression. But with my lowest lows, I also had my highest highs. I was finally accepted into dental hygiene school, was voted class president, graduated summa cum laude, earned my master’s degree, and became a dental hygiene educator.  

As an educator, I noticed the trend of stress, anxiety, and lack of preparation was not just my experience. This is the experience of most students entering dental hygiene schools. We are ill-prepared for the rigors of dental hygiene school. We struggle with the foundational knowledge while also being burdened by the stress and anxiety of it all. In a good situation, students manage to survive with only slight trauma. In the worst cases, students have complete mental breakdowns and leave the program.

Watching my students go through this was incredibly emotional for me. Sure, I had done it and survived, but I thought that if I could save one student from some of the struggles I endured, it would be worth it. With that, Dental Hygiene Basics was born. It started as a podcast and has grown into an educational platform.

There aren’t many resources focused specifically on the aspiring dental hygiene student, and I am here to fill that gap. While it's still in its earliest stages of growth, I feel passionate about my mission: prepare and educate students for a successful dental hygiene school experience, both academically and mentally. 

Want to hear my full RDH origin story (including the craziest dental hygiene school interview of all time)? 

  • Instagram
  • Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • LinkedIn

Current Professional Roles

  • Registered Dental Hygienist

  • Dental Hygiene Educator

  • Public Health Dental Hygienist

  • Educational Consultant

    • CDCA Examiner

    • StudentRDH Guest Speaker

    • NBDHE Tutor

    • Educational Content Creation and Review

Education & Training

  • BS in Biological Sciences from Oklahoma State

  • BS in Dental Hygiene from UT Health San Antonio

  • MS in Aging and Dementia Studies from Texas State

  • ACUE Microcertified in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Online Training

  • Mental Health First Aid Certified

  • Quality Matters for Online Course Certified

Past Experiences

  • Oral Surgery Assistant

  • Pediatric Dental Hygiene Assistant

  • Secretary of Pre-Dental Society (ASDA) at Oklahoma State

  • Student President of Dental Hygiene Chapter at UT Health

  • Secretary of American Association of Public Health Dentistry Student Chapter at UT Health

  • Graduate Summa Cum Laude at UT Health

  • Inducted into Sigma Phi Alpha Honor Society

  • Member of the American Dental Hygiene Association (current)

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