At Madison Yards Family Dentistry, we’re proud to have Atlanta’s top rated team of dental hygienists. Your dental hygienist is the person responsible for professionally cleaning your teeth, administering fluoride treatments, taking X-rays, and more. You may also find yourself chatting with your hygienist throughout your appointment as connecting with patients and making them feel at home is part of what makes dental hygienists so special.

Did you know that the dental hygiene profession has been around for over 100 years? It all started in 1907 when Alfred Fones, a Connecticut dentist, enlisted his cousin, Irene Newman, to help him perform his dental duties.

The First 150,000 and Beyond

Irene Newman was the first non-dentist trained in dental prophylaxis—a fancy term for the thorough, routine cleaning you receive from your hygienist today. Ms. Newman was so skilled in assisting Dr. Fones with his dental work that she became a permanent fixture in his office and later became the first-ever licensed dental hygienist.

Dr. Fones established America’s first dental hygiene program in 1913 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The 1914 graduating class got their start in schools, helping children understand the importance of dental hygiene. They were first known as “dental nurses,” but later referred to as “dental hygienists.”

Within three years, six more states had implemented dental hygiene programs. The American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) was created in 1923 with 46 founding members. By 1952, the dental hygiene profession had spread to all 50 states. Since then, technology has advanced and the qualifications to become a dental hygienist have changed. In 1965, the “female” requirement was removed from the ADHA Constitution, and Jack Orio became the first male hygienist.

Today, there are over 150,000 registered dental hygienists. Dental hygienists are essential to the education and execution of good oral health, and it’s safe to say that today’s dental landscape would not be the same without them.

Duties of a Dental Hygienist

The duties of a dental hygienist stretch further than you think. At Madison Yards Dentistry, our experienced and friendly hygienists perform the following tasks (and more!):


This is what dental hygienists are most known for. When you receive a cleaning at our office, it is always done by a hygienist. They know how to thoroughly floss and polish your teeth, as well as use a series of professional tools to extract plaque, tartar, and other cavity-causing bacteria.


Your dental hygienist will also expertly examine your mouth for signs of oral disease. This includes cavities, gingivitis and other tooth, gum and mouth irregularities. They’ll also perform any necessary X-rays and ensure everything looks normal on your scans.


Meeting with a dental hygienist is also a good time to ask questions and address any concerns you may have about your oral health. They will walk you through their processes and discuss with you any findings before you meet with the dentist. Never underestimate the knowledge of a dental hygienist. For most questions you can think of, they surely have an answer!

Consulting With Dentist

Much like the relationship between doctors and nurses, dentists couldn’t do their jobs without dental hygienists. Dentists count on hygienists to thoroughly clean patient teeth, make them feel comfortable, and, most importantly, note any abnormalities in the mouth. While both professions are extremely important, hygienists are key in setting the dentist up for success and we’re all very grateful for the hard work they do every day.

Visit Our Atlanta Office Today!

Meet our dental hygienists for yourself! The team at Madison Yards Family Dentistry has an excellent group of hygienists dedicated to your oral health and patient satisfaction. We’re dedicated to families in the Grant Park and Atlanta communities, and we’re here to ensure you have a trustworthy partner in dental care. Make your first appointment with us today! Simply give our office a call or fill out our online contact form to get started.