IFDH Newsletter
March 2017
 Board of Directors

Robyn Watson, RDH, MPA
Rhodes, New S. Wales

President Elect
Corrie Jongbloed-Zoet, RDH

Vice President
Wanda Fedora, RDH
Sydney, Nova Scotia

Mary Rose Pincelli Boglione
Florence, ITALY

Michaela ONeill

 House of Delegates
United States of AmericaUSA

Executive Director
Peter Anas

Membership Director
Laikisha Jeffries

Membership Coordinator
Georgia Anas

Join IFDH as an Individual Member
The IFDH President
Robyn Watson
Robyn Watson

Welcome from the President

Dear Colleagues & Members;

Please read the IFDH President's Report for the latest information concerning the activities of the Board of Directors and IFDH program updates and deadlines, including:

  • Bylaws Vote
  • Social Responsibility Awards
  • Advanced Leadership Programme
  • Oral Hygiene Day in Dubai
  • Research Grants
  • Social Responsibility 2017 Conference
  • World Oral Health Day
  • …and much more.
Social Responsibility

A) 2017 Conference

IFDH Presents:
Global Oral Health Strategy Session

dentsply sirona preventive
This unique conference will be held July 7-8, 2017 in Florence, Italy. Note that this meeting is limited to IFDH House of Delegates or their designees, and is not open to the public. Speakers include:
  • Raman Bedi, Chair Global Child Dental Fund;
  • Yvonne Nyblom, President, European Federation of Dental Hygienists;
  • Professor Wendell Evans, WHO Methodology for Measurement;
  • Two IFDH 2016 Social Responsibility awardees;
  • Representatives of six IFDH Member Countries to discuss their own Social Responsibility programs;
  • and others

Is your country represented?

proctor and gamble
glaxo smith kline

B) 2016 Award Winners:

Since 2014, the IFDH oversees an annual project to recognize, hygienists who participate in a volunteering project which benefits disadvantaged children, mainly but not exclusively in low- and middle-income countries. The 2016 winners were recently announced (see below). The competition was judged by a joint panel of experts from both GCDF and IFDH.

Cathryn Carboon Bev Woods Hitomi Arimatsu
1st Place
Sun Smiles
by Cathryn Carboon
2nd Place
Gift from the Heart
by Bev Woods
3rd Place
Endless Mission
by Hitomi Arimatsu
global child dental fund

Click for more info on Social Responsibility.

IFDH Presents Dental Hygiene Program in Dubai

IFDH Presents Dental Hygiene Program in Dubai

IFDH was given the opportunity to present a program on the profession of the dental hygiene at the UAE International Dental Conference & Arab Dental Exhibition (AEEDC) in Dubai. Many hygienists from the Middle East participated. It is always a privilege to meet colleagues and exchange ideas. IFDH in action! Photo of the IFDH Board of Directors (L to R): Wanda Fedora, Vice President; Michaela O'Neill, Secretary; Robyn Watson, President; Mary Rose Pincelli Boglione, Treasurer; and Corrie Jongbloed–Zoet, President Elect.

First-ever Webinar for IFDH
Available for Online Viewing & CE for 3 Years!

IFDH Education Academy
colgate oral health network

Increasing Health Literacy to Reduce Dental Caries. Are you and your Practice Health Literate?

Thank you to Alice Horowitz, PhD, MA, RDH the presenter for the IFDH Education Academy's first-ever webinar in December 2016. The webinar will remain accessible from our website with one hour of content (1 CE), which includes background and update on oral health literacy and its potential impact on decreasing dental caries, especially among pregnant women and their children.

promote this to your members

Participants will learn:


What health literacy is & why it is important


How to incorporate important communication skills to increase health literacy among their patients

Have Any of Your Members Volunteered?

Every Child has a Toothbrush
Proctor and Gamble
promote this to your members

For those inspired to improve the oral health of children, the IFDH "Every Child has a Toothbrush" campaign is designed to teach children how to use a toothbrush effectively so they can better control biofilm and reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Grant money is still available! To participate in the program: dental hygienists must create a community-based event that involves providing oral health education to children, teaching tooth-brushing techniques and conducting an oral examination to determine other needs. More details »

IFDH Symposium (ISDH) Years Change: 2019, 2022, 2024

A recent House of Delegates bylaws vote to change the timing of the IFDH International Symposium of Dental Hygienists (ISDH) along with matching Board terms to coincide with HOD meetings, has passed. The ISDH in Seoul Korea will still be held in July 2019, while Dublin, Ireland will now be held in 2022, and subsequent ISDH will be held every two years.

Here's a Reminder to View the
IFDH 30th Anniversary Video!

IFDH Celebrates 30 Years
promote this to your members

Watch a short video highlighting the IFDH 30th Anniversary, showing pictures of the organization over the years, testimonials from several in the industry and a summary of current IFDH programs.

In Memoriam: Esther Wilkins

2016 North American Saliva Symposium

Esther Wilkins, RDH, DMD, a dental hygiene icon who, after she became a dentist, proudly included her RDH credentials in her writings, passed away Monday, December 12, after being treated for a stroke. Esther had just turned 100 years old! There are many tributes to Esther. Lana Crawford, RDH, BS was also a dear friend of Dr. Esther Wilkins. She produced a beautiful tribute video which is touching and moving. It can be viewed here. The "100 poster" at the end of the video was made by Lana for Esther, and Esther received it just before her 100th birthday.


See the list of conferences on the right side of this newsletter.

Is your annual conference listed?

Third International Dental Hygiene Educator's Forum in Long Beach, California

Third International Dental Hygiene Educators Forum

The International Dental Hygiene Educator's Forum (IDHEF) was held recently in March, 2017 in Long Beach, CA, USA. There were speakers from Australia, Japan, Portugal, and the United States, including IFDH President Robyn Watson. There were a record number of participants from the above countries, as well as Canada and Germany. The panel at the end of the day discussed issues of importance to dental hygiene and dental hygiene education globally. A report will be forthcoming at a later date.

Recent Perio Master Clinic

2nd Perio Master Clinic meeting in Malta

On March 3-4, 2017, The European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) and the Turkish Society of Periodontology held the 2nd Perio Master Clinic meeting in Malta. The aim is to bring together clinicians with the desire to improve their skills in clinical practice to the highest levels of excellence. Visit the EFP website for updates, proceedings, and other news.

Member News


graduating over 37 indigenous dental hygienists

IFDH's newest Allied Member: A charity program emerged after American hygienist visited Bolivia. Sandy Kemper, RDH, an IFDH 2016 World Dental Hygienist Awards winner, tells her incredible story. Since 2000, Smiles has served more than 30,000 thousand needy children and adults with free oral hygiene services and education, while graduating over 37 indigenous dental hygienists. Let us know if you have a story to share!

The DHAA is also launching a new section of the member website for Dental Hygienists and Oral Health Therapists can share their professional experiences to create a knowledge bank that can be referenced by all DHAA members. The Hygienist Hub will allow members to share patient success stories, product reviews and practice problem solving stories.


Dental Hygiene Research Agenda

The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) is excited to launch another national television advertising campaign during this year's National Dental Hygienists Week™. Highlighting the dental hygiene profession, these 30-second ads in English and French will run 70 times between April 8 and 14 on English and French national TV networks CBC, Slice, HGTV, the Food Network, and Series+ with an expected audience reach of 4.5 million. The ads will also be distributed via a Google Video campaign, with an additional expected reach of 473,000. View it on CDHA's YouTube Channel.


Annual Training Days

The Finnish Association of Dental Hygienists FADH is celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2017. The celebrations start at the Annual Training Days on March 31st 2017 in Helsinki, where a gala dinner is held at the Hotel Crown Plaza to members and partners. At the gala dinner we will announce the Dental Hygienist of the Year 2017 together with OralB. The celebrations continue through the year.


The German Dental Hygiene Association (DDHV) is involved in the first full-time bachelor program in Dental Hygiene. The curriculum is based on a US program and will partially take place in the dental department of the University. Since the program will follow a regular German study system with free of charge education, the process to get funding from the government will take much longer than expected. We have no other choice but to go through all these procedures as we will need money from the government, which is the hardest thing to get. Never the less things look at least more positive than ever.

New Zealand

The NZDHA is having a huge 2017! We are excited to be commencing our very first combined NZDHA and NZDOTHA conference (hygienist and dental therapy) with the mindset of amalgamating the two associations. This will benefit both professions, as the universities in NZ have been training Bachelor of Oral Health for the past ten years. This means that graduates from the Otago and Auckland Universities have a scope of practice in both dental therapy and dental hygiene. This is where this level of NZ dentistry is heading and because we are evolving, we wish to embrace this change with both hands. Keep up with the changes on the NZDHA Website.

We are pleased to report that we received a number of applicants to attend the Social Responsibility Conference "Global Oral Health Strategy Session” in July 2017. We accepted the applicant, Sharmyn Turner, who is completing her masters related to this field and looking to complete a PhD. We look forward to Sharmyn bringing back the knowledge that she will gain to share with dental professionals around NZ.

Slovak Republic

Helen Minnery

We have been very busy with the following:

  • Preparation of Days of Dental Hygiene 2017 in High Tatras, Slovakia, that took place on February 6th.
  • Education - Project ADHS - Generation without tooth decay - Part of the Social responsibility program, Slovakia Full photo documentation
  • Also as a part of Social responsibility program we visited the Rehabilitation centre in Bratislava: image003.jpg
  • We have had cooperation with Naturprodukt and our publication in the magazine, Lekaren.
  • Organized by the government of Health in Slovakia, the IHCO Medical Conference, which was held on March 15th, discussed the unified system of prevention, diagnosis and treatment in the Slovak healthcare.

United Kingdom

Helen Minnery

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) now have a new president Helen Minnery (right), who started her second year term in November 2016. We are delighted to report that long standing member Sarah Murray was awarded an MBE for services to Oral Health in the 2017 New Year's Honours list, which was presented by Her Majesty the Queen. Sarah was nominated for the honour by her fellow BSDHT members.

BSDHT has joined forces with the British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT) to apply for prescribing with exemptions. This would mean that dental hygienists and dental therapists would be exempt from needing a prescription for certain Prescription Only Medicines (POMs), such as local anaesthetic and fluoride. This would allow us to use it in our daily practice without a patient specific directive or a patient group directive prescription. This will be a long process and we envisage this to be in place at the earliest 2019.

Oral Health News & Research

World Health Organization Announces Antibiotic Resistance List

World Health Organization Announces Antibiotic Resistance List

The World Health Organization has issued a list of the top dozen bacteria most dangerous to humans, warning that doctors are fast running out of treatment. In a recent press briefing, the UN health agency announced that its list is meant to promote the development of medicines for the most worrying drug-resistant bacteria, including salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus. Click for more on this and World Antibiotic Awareness Week, 13-19 November 2017.

World Oral Health Day

World Oral Health Day

World Oral Health Day is celebrated globally every year on 20 March and is organized by FDI World Dental Federation. World Oral Health Day was launched in 2013 to raise awareness of the importance of good oral health and its significance in safeguarding general health and well-being. Click here for information, resources, and how you can get involved! "Become an oral health advocate and help change policy in your country."

New Study on Electronic Cigarettes

New Study on Electronic Cigarettes

Electronic Cigarettes represent an increasingly significant proportion of today's consumable tobacco products, and contain several chemicals which may promote oral diseases. A new study showed the adverse effects of e-cigarette vapor on gingival epithelial cells may lead to dysregulated gingival cell function and result in oral disease.

Infection Control CE

Infection Control CE

Download a free eBook with Continuing Education credits, including:

  • CE1-Sterilization and High-Level Disinfection for Today's Dental Office;
  • CE2-Emerging Pathogens and the Prevention of Disease Transmission;
  • PEER PERSPECTIVE: Ongoing Evolution of Germicides: Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide for Surface Disinfection.

FDA Warns About Skin Antiseptic

FDA Warns About Skin Antiseptic

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns about rare but serious allergic reactions with the skin antiseptic chlorhexidine gluconate. Although rare, these serious allergic reactions have been reported with the widely-used skin antiseptic products containing chlorhexidine gluconate. Health care professionals should always ask patients if they have ever had an allergic reaction to any antiseptic before recommending or prescribing a chlorhexidine gluconate product. More info.

More Evidence Ties Periodontal Disease to Stroke Risk

More Evidence Ties Periodontal Disease to Stroke Risk

Adults with periodontal disease may be twice as likely as people with healthy gums to suffer a stroke, new research suggests. Souvik Sen, M.D., professor and chair, neurology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Maurizio Trevisan, medical professor and dean, City University of New York School of Medicine both made presentations at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference in Houston last month. The study does not prove the cause/effect relationship because it's an observational study.

Glucose in Saliva Links to Diabetes

Glucose in Saliva Links to Diabetes

Glucose in Saliva Affects Oral Microbiome, and shows a mechanistic link between diabetes and poor oral health. Metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes lead to changes in oral bacteria that in turn can increase risk of oral health problems. Read full text here.

Sugar Now Also Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

Sugar Now Also Linked to Alzheimers Disease

According to a new study, excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stages of Alzheimer's. Diabetes patients have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to healthy individuals.

Behavior Change

Behavior Change

In addition to health care professionals, like dental hygienists, online health tools with good, but controlled, communication skills can promote healthier lifestyles, according to researchers. If their tone is conversational, these tools may lull users into a false sense of comfort. See the study here.

Marijuana Use and Oral Health

Marijuana Use and Oral Health

Cannabis, pot, hash and weed are just a few of the names used worldwide for marijuana. In the USA, marijuana is legal in a number of states for recreational and medicinal use. Read this editorial for one dentist's opinion about this topic.

Peri-Implantitis; Comparison with Periodontitis from Etiological Perspective

Peri-Implantitis; Comparison with Periodontitis from Etiological Perspective

"The knowledge of risk factors for developing peri-implantitis is necessary for the clinicians to provide detailed counseling to the high-risk patients and stress the need for good personal and clinical care for the implants." Read full article.

Treatment of Peri-Implantitis with a Diode Laser

Treatment of Peri-Implantitis with a Diode Laser

Diode lasers have several benefits related to peri-implantitis treatment, according to the author. "These include easier access to limited access areas due to the small diameter of the flexible glass fiber without the need to remove as much bone as may be required when only surgical instruments are used, and the ability to sterilize the implant's contaminated surface, eliminating any bacteria that caused the disease and preventing their hampering of healing after treatment." View the article.

New Dental Implant with Built-In Reservoir Reduces Infection Risk

New Dental Implant with Built-In Reservoir Reduces Infection Risk

A multidisciplinary team of researchers at KU Leuven (University of Leuven, Belgium) has developed a dental implant that gradually releases drugs (controlled release of chlorhexidine) from a built-in reservoir. According to the authors, this helps prevent and control infections. Read more.

Periodontal Disease & Rheumatoid Arthritis Link

Periodontal Disease & Rheumatoid Arthritis Link

Researchers have added to the evidence that a common bacterial cause of periodontal disease may worsen rheumatoid arthritis. "Although rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, scientists have long suspected that bacterial infections (and in particular, periodontal infections) may play a role in its pathogenesis." Read more.

Dentin Hypersensitivity: The Common Cold of Dentistry

Dentin Hypersensitivity: The Common Cold of Dentistry

Dentin hypersensitivity is very common and complex oral health problem and clinicians must take a detailed history, and familiarize themselves with new technology to resolve the problem. Professionals should identify the causative factors as prevention is always the best treatment plan. Full article available.

Tongue Piercing Mania

Tongue Piercing Mania

Piercing of oral sites may lead to a number of complications, some of which are life-threatening. Dental hygienists and dentists should be aware of the increasing number of patients with pierced intra-oral and peri-oral sites and should be prepared to offer advice and guidance to patients. Full text article available.

Bone Density & Clinical Periodontal Attachment in Postmenopausal Women

Bone Density & Clinical Periodontal Attachment in Postmenopausal Women

"The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to verify the scientific evidence for the association of periodontal attachment loss with low BMD in postmenopausal women." Read more.

Early Childhood Caries: A Global Epidemic

Early Childhood Caries: A Global Epidemic

Dental decay in children is a common, chronic infectious transmissible disease resulting from tooth-adherent specific bacteria; primarily Mutans Streptococci that metabolize sugars to produce acids; which demineralizes tooth structure. It is a significant public health problem and the single most common chronic childhood disease. Read the editorial.

Activity Sheets for Children

Activity Sheets for Children

Healthy Kids coloring sheets, a brushing calendar, a page that shares "What Drink to Choose", "Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile" and more is available for free download. Fun for kids!

Oral Hygiene in Prevention of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

Oral Hygiene in Prevention of Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

"Nosocomial pneumonia has correlated to dental plaque and to oropharynx colonization in patients receiving mechanical ventilation. The interruption of this process, by preventing colonization of pathogenic bacteria, represents a potential procedure for the prevention of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)." Read the researchers' study.

Periodontitis Vaccine Trials Could Start in 2018

Periodontitis Vaccine Trials Could Start in 2018

A world-first vaccine developed by Melbourne scientists, which could eliminate or at least reduce the need for surgery and antibiotics for severe periodontal disease, has been validated by recent research. The therapeutic Porphyromonas gingivalis gingipain vaccine induces neutralizing IgG1 antibodies that protect against experimental periodontitis.

Dental Sealants, a Resource Guide

Dental Sealants, a Resource Guide

The US National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center (OHRC) developed this publication, Dental Sealants: A Resource Guide (4th Edition), to provide information to health professionals, program administrators, educators, policymakers, and others about the use and application of dental sealants.

Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice Seeks Articles

Dental Sealants, a Resource Guide

The Annual Report on Dental Hygiene is a special issue of the JEBDP, published initially in 2014 and again in 2016. The new edition planned for 2018 will have a global focus. If you (along with some colleagues) would be interested in writing about the 'state of the art' of dental hygiene/dentistry in your country, please contact Terri Tilliss, RDH, PhD. Terri can help with writing/editing if you have strong content and weaker writing skills. If you have publishable research about another topic let her know that too. Please contact her by March 31 at: Terri.Tilliss@incidentalsconsulting.com.

Editor: Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, BA, MS

Published by

International Federation of Dental Hygienists

with support from


100 South Washington St., Rockville MD 20850 USA.
Phone: 240-778-6114 • Web: www.ifdh.org



March 31: Swiss Dental Hygienists and Swiss Society of Oral Implantology Symposium
Olten, Switzerland

March 31-April 1: Finnish Association of Dental Hygienists (FADH) Annual Training Days
Helsinki, Finland

April 7: Dutch Dental Hygienists' Association (NVM) - Spring Conference
Rijtuigenloods Amersfoort, The Netherlands

April 8-14: Canada's National Dental Hygienists Week

May 18-19: International Conference of Dental Public Health
Nazareth, Israel

May 24: Israeli Dental Hygiene Association (IDHA) Annual Conference
Airport City (East of Tel Aviv), Israel

May 31-June 1: The Norwegian Association of Dental Hygienist Congress
Hamar, Norway

June 2-5: Association of Dental Hygienists in the Slovak Republic (ADHS) Days of Dental Hygiene 2017
Tatars Mountains, Slovak Republic

June 14-20: American Dental Hygienists' Association Center for Lifelong Learning at the 94th Annual Session
Jacksonville, Florida, United States

September 16-18: Japan Society for Dental Hygiene - Contact for more information
Tokyo, Japan

September 29-30: Dutch Dental Hygienists' Association (NVM) 50th Anniversary Congress - 50 years old, Proud to be gold - Time to sparkle
Sugar City, Halfweg, The Netherlands

September (date TBD): European Dental Hygiene Federation (EDHF) Meeting

October 7-8: Association for Oral Health Therapists (Singapore) Asia-Pacific Oral Health Therapy Congress 2017

October 12-14: Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA) National Symposium: "It's All About the Smile"
Adelaide, SA, Australia

October 19-21: Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) and the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice's 4th Global Dental Hygiene Research Conference
Ottawa, Canada

October 20-21: Australian Dental and Oral Health Therapists' Association (ADOHTA) Synergy for Success Conference
McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

October 20-22: HIDES XXIX National Congress
A Coruña (Galicia), Spain

November 3-4: The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) Oral Health Conference "More to the Mouth"
Harrogate, England

November 10-11: Irish Dental Hygienist's Association (IDHA) 30th Anniversary Annual Conference
Dublin, Ireland

November 10-11: Swiss Dental Hygienists Annual Congress
Geneva, Switzerland

Is Your Annual Conference Listed?

See full list.

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Every Child Has a Toothbrush Program