Diaz J, Boyd L D, Giblin-Scanlon L, Smethers R, Vineyard J. Experiences and characteristics of men working in dental hygiene. Int J Dent Hyg 2022; 20: 185-192.

It is important to identify ways to make the hygienist role more inviting to encourage men to join the profession.

There is limited research available about men working in dental hygiene. The purpose of this study was to explore the characteristics and experiences of men in dental hygiene. Cross-sectional survey research was conducted with a sample of male dental hygienists (n = 288). Participants were recruited via social media and snowball sampling. The survey was developed based on nursing literature and validated with a panel of experts. Results revealed participants were more likely to be white (60%), hold an associate's entry-level dental hygiene degree (61%) and work in a private practice dental setting (73%). Sixty-one percent reported full-time employment, and 50% were satisfied or very satisfied with benefits offered by their place of employment. All three sources of gender discrimination (patients, co-workers and employers) were related to experiencing a desire to leave the field. Half of the respondents reported patients had refused to see them based on their gender. This is an area that needs to be addressed in practice settings.