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Part of the beauty of dental hygiene is the diversity of its professionals. As long as you have the passion and commitment required for the job, you can enjoy a long and fulfilling career as a hygienist.

As a result, more and more men are becoming hygienists — aptly nicknamed “guygienists” — in our industry.

For this week’s Featured Hygienist, we caught up with DentalPost community member and guygienist Michael Long, RDHAP. We got a look into how he got started in our industry, and why he loves what he does!

What does hygiene mean to you?

Dental hygiene means health education and disease prevention.

How many years have you been a hygienist?

11 years.

What sparked your interest in becoming a hygienist?

After working in dental offices for many years as a dental assistant and office administrator, I witnessed first-hand the responsibilities and benefits of the RDH. Flexible schedule, hands-on clinical care, and good compensation are a few things that sparked in interest in becoming a dental hygienist.

What is the most rewarding part of being a dental hygienist?

The most rewarding part of being a dental hygienist is the professional friendships I’ve made. Most of these connections have been made possible through my relationship with California Dental Hygienists’ Assn. and the San Francisco Dental Hygiene Society.

What is your favorite experience you’ve had as a dental hygienist?

My passion for oral health has focused my career on the integration of oral health into primary care. Recently in an email to San Francisco public health leaders a colleague said this of me, “His interest and work in inter-professional collaboration existed well before the terminology.” It’s comments like this which make me realize the magnitude of our work. Oral health integration is no longer an idea, it’s a national movement.

Stay tuned to our blog for the next Dental Hygienist of the Week! Be the first to read more stories like this by following us on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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