How YouTube Has Made Me A Better Hygienist

by Irene Iancu, BSc, RDH, CTDP

Some people look to YouTube for educational videos and others look for entertainment.

When you think of YouTube, what is your first instinct? Have you ever thought that YouTube could make you a better clinician?

I write articles from a place of experience and I connect with the written word on an emotional level. This piece comes your way because I realized that entertainment and education combined have made me a better clinician, speaker and educator.

Some of you may know me from my podcast Tooth or Dare. I’m very fortunate to have a rockstar co-host, Whitney Rose, whom this article is inspired by.

Youtube Hygienist Whitney Rose

Whitney is a registered dental hygienist based in Chicago with a YouTube channel called Teeth Talk Girl. Her main goal is to educate and entertain. She creates videos about the profession of dental hygiene, all while discussing things like the difference between plaque and tartar, flossing tricks for permanent retainers, water flossing, and videos about the day in the life of a dental hygienist.

Her videos get tens of thousands of views. Some even hundreds of thousands of views! And who watches these videos you may ask? We do – RDH’s, assistants, therapists, dentists and the general public.

It’s no surprise that Whitney is well-liked. Knowing her in her “human form” (as Whitney calls it), I better understand how my podcast partner-in-crime is changing the face of dental hygiene and how we educate our clients.

I virtually sit down with Whitney aka Teeth Talk Girl, trying to keep our friendship aside and really discuss what inspires her to do these videos. Every week she creates awesome content, which is educational, along with entertaining concepts that inspire us all to bring fun back into discussing topics such as “how to hold your floss” and “what’s the best mouthwash?”.

Teeth Talk Girl

This year, the Canadian Dental Hygienist’s Association and the American Dental Hygienist’s Association joined forces to celebrate dental hygienists and raise awareness for oral health to the public. It’s only fitting that with this new “Put On Your Purple” collaboration from North to South, we highlight the importance of growth and compassion to the profession of dental hygiene.

This year, Whitney is one of the winners of the 3rd Annual Heart to Hands Award. This award was presented to her solely due to her contributions to dental hygiene and for uplifting oral health related community activities and extraordinary encounters. Aside from her popular YouTube channel, Whitney goes above and beyond in her community, educating children about oral health, all while wearing a tooth fairy costume.

I asked Whitney a few questions for you, the readers, to get to know her better.

What inspired you to start this channel?
I was inspired to start my YouTube channel because I was waiting for my dental hygiene license to arrive in the mail and I couldn’t wait to start my career as a dental hygienist, especially the patient education part. In the interim, I started making dental hygiene education YouTube videos. I have a background in film and acting, and somehow, I’ve found a way to combine my two passions (teeth and videos)!

What kind of feedback have you received from RDH’s out there?
I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from my viewers! I’m overwhelmed by how positive the response has been. The dental hygiene community is lovely. I’ve really felt the amazing support and how we all raise each other up. It’s absolutely comforting.

Has your channel helped you treat clients differently?
I definitely hope it has helped me to treat my clients differently. It definitely makes me think about things differently, especially when patients ask the same questions over and over. It’s made me realize that there are multiple ways to explain things, which is extremely important. I’m also constantly thinking of video ideas during appointments, in which I feel makes me more attentive to my clients.

Do you think your YouTube channel has made you a better clinician?
Absolutely! Of course, experience is the number one thing that has made me a better clinician. But coming in at a close second is all of the research I do for my videos. It’s like I’m constantly taking personal CE courses without getting any credit!

Do your clients see your videos?
This is a great question! The first year that I started creating my videos, I didn’t even tell my bosses that it was happening. I was very nervous!  But then once I wanted to start making videos in the office, I obviously had to bring it up. My bosses were extremely supportive and they now actually promote my videos to our patients, even when I don’t. I’m still a little shy about it, believe it or not!

A Note From The Editor
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Irene for a couple of years now and I can’t express my gratitude for her support of our publications. She’s an extremely vital resource and her vast knowledge of the profession, and her strong desire to educate, is inspiring to witness. I had the opportunity to meet Whitney this year at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting where we recorded a podcast together (coming soon)! She is a vibrant and intelligent woman whose personality is infectious. Be sure to check out Whitney’s YouTube Channel, Teeth Talk Girl, and subscribe to Irene and Whitney’s podcast, Tooth or Dare. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

About The Author
Irene Iancu has worked in various specialties including Paedo, Perio, General Practice and Orthodontics. Her goal in her current holistic practice is prevention and maintaining an optimal mind, mouth and body. Irene connects the systemic effects of oral conditions to her clients, while making a change for overall health and wellness. As a Peer and Quality Assurance Mentor contracted by the CDHO, a Clinical and Theoretical Dental Hygiene instructor at Oxford College, and a practicing dental hygienist in Toronto; Irene shares her passion for education with us today in the hopes we can change the lives of our clients and their loved ones.

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