The first Dutch Dental Hygiene School was opened in 1968. Educating dental
hygiene professionals with preventive qualifications was a well-considered
decision. From the beginning on, the Dutch Dental HygienistsAssociation has
aimed at optimizing dental hygienists role in preventive oral health care. Current developments, such as the introduction of a new national health
insurance system and the rearrangement of oral health care, require reflection
on the position of dental hygienists. Prevention should remain the core
business of the dental hygiene profession. However, preventive oral health
care has lost its social priority. Therefore, a new campaign preventing
development of both old and new oral health threats should be initiated. In
the opinion of the Dutch Dental HygienistsAssociation, dental hygienists
should be committed both to public and individual oral health prevention.
The association pleads for the reinforcement of preventive oral health care for
children and young adults, with a special focus on high-risk groups. Likewise,
oral health care for elderly people should receive more attention.