More than Cleaning and Caring: The Profession of Dental Hygiene in Canada, 1951-2010

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Date
2021-08-21
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Journal ISSN
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Publisher
Wiley
Abstract

Dental hygiene has been a female-dominated profession that worked primarily for dentists who, until very recently, were usually male. This article explores the early history of dental hygiene in Canada during the 1950s and 1960s; its explosive growth in the 1970s; the influence of feminism on the profession; and the battles dental hygienists fought to improve the status of their profession including better educational opportunities; professional self-regulation and the right to practice independently of dentists. It argues that dental hygienists have made important gains, and yet the culture of ‘caring’ continues to complicate their professional status.

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Keywords
women, professionalization, feminism, dental hygiene
Citation
Catherine Carstairs “More than Cleaning and Caring: The Profession of Dental Hygiene in Canada, 1951-2010” Gender and History 33, 3 (2001), 715-735. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12550
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