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Julie appears in the 
Top 40 Under 40 magazine.

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Julie Turner, RDH

Julie Turner, RDH, is far more than your average dental hygienist; she’s the founder and CEO of Floss in Banff, Alberta, where she provides comprehensive, evidence-backed care, and is disseminating knowledge and understanding about how oral care profoundly affects overall health. After working with a not-for-profit and in business for years, Julie went back to school for dental hygiene, where her passion for the practice blossomed.


Since opening its doors in June 2021, Floss continues to grow exponentially, with another hygienist recently joining the team. The full-service dental hygienist clinic offers exams, diagnoses, X-rays, scaling, polish, stain removal, and fluoride treatments, all in an environment of personalized care and attention to detail that attracts those who want a setting that puts their health and comfort first.


For Julie, providing comprehensive care is a true passion, and she brings it beyond the walls of the Floss office. With her mobile equipment, Julie can be found throughout the Bow Valley in full-term care facilities, bringing the same quality care and personal attention to even more people. “This is about giving back to the community,” she says.


Julie met with us to discuss the important role of dental hygienists and dental hygiene clinics, the services they provide, and why good oral hygiene is so crucial to everyone’s overall health.


What do dental hygienists do, and what are the benefits of seeing a dental hygienist?


Dental hygienists primarily perform cleaning procedures, but they also contribute to overall health. Our role involves significant preventive measures, and we collaborate with other health professionals to identify early signs and symptoms. When you visit a dental hygienist, you typically receive longer appointments, which allow for more personalized care. You also receive an impartial assessment. There’s no dentist on site, which potentially reduces costs as well. Many individuals appreciate their experiences with dental hygienists, as these professionals are often driven by their passion for their work.


How are dental hygiene clinics different from dental practices? What types of services do your clinics offer?


In Alberta, dental hygiene clinics operate without dentists, while in many other regions, patients may encounter both dentists and dental hygienists. Although these two types of clinics share similarities, dental hygiene clinics typically prioritize preventive measures, hygiene, and overall health risk management. In contrast, dental clinics often concentrate on addressing existing oral issues. Hygiene clinics unequivocally emphasize prevention and the enhancement of oral and general health.


Why is good oral hygiene—and regular visits to dental hygienists—critical to one’s overall health?


It is essential to recognize the interconnection between oral and systemic health. Research indicates a causal relationship with heart disease and a correlation with conditions such as diabetes, which can exacerbate other health issues. Improving oral health often leads to better overall health, and ongoing studies continue to provide insights into this connection. Regular dental visits can have a beneficial influence, unlike some conditions where intervention may come too late.


The dental hygienist industry is a very collaborative community. Tell us a little bit about this.


We are fortunate to have strong collaborative relationships with various health care professionals. Our close partnership with medical doctors enables us to share relevant information and refer patients who may require medical attention. However, our connections extend beyond medical doctors; we also make referrals to physiotherapists, naturopaths, oral surgeons, and dentists, working in cooperation with a wide range of practitioners within our community. As a unified team, our goal is to ensure that individuals receive the necessary care to achieve their optimal overall health. In our specific clinic, we provide services to all long-term care facilities in our region, reaching patients who might otherwise lack access to health care services. Typically, but not universally, it is often the hygienist, rather than the dentist, who provides care in such settings.


What do you enjoy most about work?


The profession of dental hygiene is focused on assisting individuals and generating positive outcomes. It offers a sense of fulfillment. While the core cleaning tasks may be repetitive, delving into the full scope of practice allows us to genuinely aid people and create a meaningful influence on their lives.

Julie Turner, RDH
Founder and CEO


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