January 30, 2021

Dental Hygiene: The Ideal Profession for the Free-Spirited

Two sisters share why dental hygiene is the perfect career for their adventurous lifestyles

Samantha Dow

Meet Dara and Lydia.

These two sisters share why dental hygiene is the perfect career for their adventurous lifestyles.

Greeted by happy and energetic voices on the other end of the phone, I knew Dara and Lydia would be fun to talk to. In the midst of the week leading up to Lydia's wedding, these sisters took time out of their busy schedules to chat with me about their careers in dental hygiene. Specifically, I was intrigued to learn more about how dental hygiene fits their bold and exciting lifestyles featured on Dara’s instagram profile. 

I mean, how could I not want to interview a dental hygienist with an IG post captioned:

“Hey y’all - I GOT THE CALL! American Ninja Warrior Season 12 here I come!” ?

But, first, I wanted to know what motivated these women to pursue a career in dental hygiene. 

Dara recalled a time she played hide-and-go-seek with her brother as a little girl. 

In the heat of the game, her brother knocked out his front tooth after falling off a piano bench. He was immediately rushed to the pediatric dentist. Dara tagged along and, upon arriving, the dentist asked her if she wanted to observe him as he fixed her brother’s tooth. Like any kid who looks up to adults would, Dara said yes! 

The high office energy combined with the unique dentist-patient interactions left a positive impression on Dara that day. She loved how comfortable the dental staff made her and her brother feel in a stereotypically scary environment. As a result, Dara shadowed at that same pediatric office once she got older and knew she wanted to pursue dentistry in some way. After seeing how much her sister enjoyed her work environment and flexible schedule, Lydia hopped on the dental hygiene train too!

So what exactly makes dental hygiene such a great career?

The answer is simple: Not having to sacrifice doing the activities you love in order to work in the health field!

One of Dara’s greatest passions is challenging her mind and body through intense physical training. For her, this kind of training is anything from crossfit to swimming to gymnastics. Since her dad asked her to compete with him in a Spartan Race a few years ago, Dara started training for and competing in these races frequently. This year, she was even scheduled to compete on Season 12 of American Ninja Warrior! Unfortunately, the pandemic resulted in cancellation of the show’s filming this season. However, I have no doubt that she will make it happen in the future! 

Just like Dara, Lydia also has a passion for getting outside! As a Colorado resident, Lydia is huge into hiking, backpacking, and gardening. It is essential that she has time every week to participate in these rejuvenating and nature-oriented activities. 

Practicing dental hygiene, especially in Colorado, makes this lifestyle possible. 

Unlike most other states, Colorado allows dental hygienists to own and run their own practice. Lydia can make her own schedule and work in whichever office environment that is most suitable to her needs. 

Additionally, dental hygiene pays well enough that Lydia and Dara are able to work only 3 days a week. This allows them to spend time with friends and family doing fulfilling activities outside the office!

On top of the awesome scheduling benefits, these sisters love connecting with and helping their patients!

Lydia said her favorite aspects of the job include, “getting to know patients personally and having an ability for continued growth in the field. The best techniques and products are ever changing in the industry, so there’s always opportunity to learn more.”

Dara likes that she can help improve a patient’s general health by cleaning their teeth. 

“Not many people are aware of how what’s going on inside your mouth reflects what’s happening with overall health”, she said. “Chronic inflammation in the mouth ties to other bodily conditions… and flossing your teeth can boost your immune system.” 

If you’re looking to pursue a health profession with rewarding interactions and pay but don’t want to sacrifice your free time to be successful, we recommend a career in dental hygiene! 

Thank you, Dara and Lydia! Check out their instagram accounts (@rdhdara and @backpack.junkies

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