President’s Message

Hello ODHA members!

Winter is in full swing, thankfully the days are getting longer and Spring is just around the corner.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.

Certainly, promoting children's oral health awareness is important. As a dental hygienist in Oregon, you can play a significant role in this. Here are some ways to raise awareness about children's oral health:
Educational Workshops: Consider hosting workshops or seminars for parents and teachers in your community. Discuss topics like proper brushing techniques, the importance of regular dental check-ups, and the role of diet in oral health.

School Visits: Collaborate with local schools to visit classrooms and educate children about oral hygiene. You can demonstrate the correct way to brush and floss and provide tips on maintaining a healthy smile.

Social Media Presence: Utilize social media platforms to share informative content about children's oral health. Post tips, infographics, and videos that parents and caregivers can easily access and share.

Community Events: Participate in community health fairs or events where you can set up a booth to offer free dental screenings and distribute educational materials.

Collaborate with Pediatricians: Partner with pediatricians in your area to ensure that parents receive oral health information during routine well-child visits.

Online Resources: Create a website or blog with resources, articles, and FAQs about children's oral health. This can be a valuable reference for parents seeking information.

Local Networking: Connect with other healthcare professionals in your region, such as pediatric dentists and family doctors, to coordinate efforts in promoting children's oral health.

Engage in Advocacy: Get involved in local or state-level initiatives that aim to improve children's oral health policies, access to dental care, and education.
Remember that raising awareness is an ongoing effort, and your expertise as a dental hygienist can make a significant impact on children's oral health in your community.

Karan BershawWarm regards,
Karan Bershaw, MS, RDH, EPDH, FADHA





Component News

North West

Hello ODHA friends,

The Northwest component has exciting news for 2024!

We will begin our monthly component meetings in February! Please join us on the first Saturday of each month from 10 AM to 12 PM to connect with colleagues and learn. The first hour will be for networking and discussing component business. The second hour will be for learning. We are working on one (1) CE credit to be awarded to members attending the second hour. Final details will be shared when you email us to register!

Starting in the Spring, we will offer social gatherings! Socials will take place once each quarter and be in lieu of the monthly meeting.

So far, this is the 2024 Northwest Component lineup (more information will be added to the ODHA calendar once details are finalized):

Monthly Meetings and CE
Feb 3 - Staging and Grading Perio
March 2 - Communication & Building Trust with Patients
May 4 - Abuse and What it Means to be a Mandatory Reporter
June 1 - Working with the LGBTQ+ Community

Quarterly Social Events
April 6 - Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Sept 7 - Swan Island Dahlia Festival
Dec 7 - Silverton Christmas Market

We have plans to start an ODHA Instagram page and one of the features will be spotlights on amazing hygienists in the North West Component. If you would like to nominate an outstanding hygienist, please email me at [email protected]. I can’t wait to see the nominees!

DeAnn Dardis


DeAnn Dardis, RDH, BSDH, EPP
North West Component Director




South West

I'm very excited to represent the South West Component!

This is my first time in a leadership position at the state level and I have big plans for the coming year! My goal is to get more involvement in our area and build a supportive network of colleagues. In my opinion, dental hygiene is equally challenging and rewarding and I would love to support you.

Dental decay is present in over half of children ages 6-8, and near 60% in 12-19 year olds in their permanent dentition. Every encounter with our pediatric population is an opportunity to educate and we can encourage parents and caregivers during each visit as well. I challenge you to get back to the basics in your dialogue, to include healthy nutritional choices.

I'm really proud of how hard we work as dental hygienists and how much of an impact we truly make in those we serve.

Tommie KellHappy National Children's Dental Health Month!"
Tommie Kell, EPRDH, OMT










Metro East

Hello ODHA!

Metro East is back!! We had our first, “in-person” regular component meeting of the year in January and we had an AMAZING turnout. Over 30 attendees! We discussed our vision for the year and what meetings would encompass moving forward. Here are the details:

Meetings will be the 4th Thursday of every month from 6:15 - 7:15 pm, short and sweet! (you can stay longer for the “less-meaty” parts like socializing and networking, but the first hour will be purposeful and include:

  • CE
  • Study Club topics
  • Community service organizing

Speaking of community service organizing….our next meeting will be Thursday, February 29th (this is the 5th Thursday of the month and the only meeting as such) and we will all be bringing our extra hygiene supplies to bag up for Rose Haven Day Shelter for Women and Children which is our community focus for the year!! We will have the most updated info on our meetings on the ODHA calendar so be sure to check there first and mark your calendars so you can be there with us as often as possible! 

If your office has any extra supplies that are taking up space we would LOVE for you to come to the meeting in February and help us help our neighbors at Rose Haven!! We do ask that you email [email protected] so that we can share our spreadsheet with you for tracking contributions before the meeting. 

If you are joining us in February, please RSVP to [email protected] by February 27th.

Everyone is encouraged to bring a dish or a treat if possible as this will be right after work for many. Drinks and dessert are provided. Also, our meeting schedule for the the rest of the year is as follows; topics are being worked on as we speak!

All meetings are from 6:15 - 7:15 pm

February 29th
TOPIC: bringing and bagging supplies for Rose Haven, Black box Q&A for all participants to ask questions about anything at all related to the field of dental hygiene anonymously!

Save the date for future meetings: March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27, July 25, August 27 and September 26

*No meetings happening in October or November as we will be in full Oregon Dental Hygiene Conference planning mode as well as the holidays! 

Happy February to all! LOVE your neighbor!! Please feel free to join meetings and help us support each other and Rose Haven Women’s Shelter this year!

Heidi Klobes




Heidi M. Klobes RDH, BSDH
Metro East Component Director




License Portability & the DDH Compact

License portability allows a person with a license in one state to be authorized to practice in another state. Traditionally, dental hygienists have needed to obtain and maintain a license in each state where they want to practice. License portability will allow dental hygienists to practice in other states without obtaining additional licenses. An interstate compact is a legal, legislatively enacted contract between two or more states that can allow states to create reciprocal professional licensing so that a person with a professional license in one state may practice in another state without obtaining an additional license.

The DDH Compact is an interstate agreement that will provide a pathway for dentists and dental hygienists to obtain authorization to practice in states where they are not already licensed. The DDH Compact will allow a dentist or dental hygienist who has a license in one participating state to apply for compact privilege in another participating state. The compact privilege will allow the dentist or dental hygienist to practice in the other participating state without needing to obtain a license in that state.

The Council of State Governments (csg.org) partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) to develop this new interstate compact. The CSG has developed model legislation that must be enacted by at least 7 states before the DDH Compact can go into effect. No substantive changes can be made to the language of the model legislation, or it may jeopardize that state’s participation in the DDH Compact. Only states that enact the legislation may participate in the DDH Compact. Iowa, Washington & Tennessee have passed this legislation, and legislation is pending in several other states. The ODHA is meeting with the Oregon Dental Association (ODA) to discuss partnering on this legislation for 2025.

For more information about the DDH Compact, please visit the ODHA website at https://ordha.memberclicks.net/advocacy-news


Extraordinary Outreach Opportunity

There are openings for dental hygienists who would like to take a week off and have an amazing time providing oral health care to grade school children in Santa Catarina Mita, Guatemala. Nuevas Sonrisas volunteers provide preventive, routine, and urgent dental services to about 800 students, classroom education, fluoride applications, and distribution of toothpaste and toothbrushes for approximately 3,100 students. We reach about 800 parents with education and toothbrushes as well.

The 2024 trip is scheduled for March 2-10. Many volunteers choose to stay a couple of extra days in the beautiful colonial city of Antigua following our work week.

There will be at least two orientation sessions prior to the trip to prepare volunteers. Each volunteer is responsible for their own airfare. The cost for the trip will be $475 in addition to the airfare. We look forward to hearing from some adventurous, fun loving, and flexible dental hygienists! You will return tired, but with warm feelings from the many smiles and hugs of the children and knowing you have helped to improve the lives of many.

Please contact Sue Sanzi-Schaedel at [email protected] or by phone at 503-804-3210


National Children’s Dental Health Month

The American Dental Association offers free posters, postcards, and kids activity sheets for order on their website.

Check Them All Out Here



Oregon Board of Dentistry News Meetings in 2024

February 23
April 26
June 14
August 23
October 25
December 13

The Oregon Board of Dentistry meetings are in person but you also may join via Zoom.

Friday, February 23
8:00 - 9:00 am - Dental Assistant Workforce Shortage Advisory Committee meeting
9:15 am Board Meeting

Anyone may participate in Open Session portions of the Board meeting.

In-person meeting: 1500 SW 1st Ave Ste 770, Portland, OR 97201

 Zoom link will be posted approximately one week before the meeting on the Board website at www.oregon.gov/dentistry. Scroll down to About Us and click on Meetings. The public packet is usually more than 200 pages in length. We recommend that you review this document online, and only print pages if you need them.

If you would like to participate in the Open Session of this or any future board meeting, please contact ODHA Advocacy Director Karen Hall at [email protected] for more information.


Upcoming Events

Dental Assistants Recognition Week | March 3-9

Dental Assistants Recognition Week is observed each year during the first full week of March to celebrate the commitment & dedication that dental assistants exhibit throughout the year. This year’s celebration will be held March 3-9, 2024.

Today’s dental assistants strengthen the entire dental practice & enhance the patient care experience. Dental assistants are committed to professional development & quality dental care. Dental assisting continues to diversify & expand as a healthcare profession. Whether working chairside with a dentist, taking x-rays or managing the business office, teaching or working in insurance or sales, dental assistants are vital to the success of the dentistry.

Start planning now for ways to celebrate & recognize the dental assistants who work with you during the 2024 Dental Assistants Recognition Week.


ADHA Annual Conference | July 26-28 | New Orleans

ADHA Annual Conference 2024



Oregon Dental Hygiene Conference | November 1 - 2, 2024 | Salem Convention Center

2024 ODHA Dental Hygiene Conference - SAVE THE DATE!




Expand Your Professional Network
The ADHA Professional Fellows Program is your opportunity to expand and enrich your connection to an elite nationwide network of dental hygienists who share your passion for advancing oral health. Don't miss you chance to collaborate and share valuable skills and expertise.

Applications Now Accepted


More information here



Career Center

Visit the ODHA Career Center to find out about recent job openings like these:

Featured Job Opening

Dental Hygienist – Lakeside, MT

Lakeside Dental is located in beautiful Lakeside, Montana on the shores of Flathead Lake and just 15 miles south of Kalispell, MT.  Our long-established practice is urgently seeking both a FULL TIME (4 days/week) and a PART TIME dental hygienist.  Our practice has a small town feel while offering our patients comprehensive dental services with state-of-the-art technology.  We have a wonderful, hard-working dental team that delivers trusted patient care in a fun, supportive environment.

Willamette Dental Job Openings

Traveling Dental Hygienist - Hillsboro

Dental Hygienist - Durham

Dental Hygienist - Grants Pass

On-Call Dental Hygienist - Bend

Dental Hygienist - Portland

Dental Hygienist - Corvallis

And more can be found here on our website: https://ordha.mcjobboard.net/jobs






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