ADED126C: Nutrition for the Dental Hygienist

Allied Dental Education
Credits 2 Lab/Practicum/Clinical Hours 0 Lecture Hours 2
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An introduction to the basic fundamentals of the science of nutrition for the dental hygienist. Essentials of adequate dietary intake and nutritional balances and imbalances including total body health and dental care are discussed. Topics include the role of nutrients in the development and maintenance of hard and soft oral tissues, nutritional needs throughout the life cycle, and nutritional issues that may impact oral health. Special emphasis is placed on the application of dietary analysis and nutritional counseling as a preventive dental service.


Students are required to pass prerequisite courses with a grade of C or higher. Exceptions apply; please consult your department chair.
  • Describe the basic concepts of nutritional science in relation to the general health and physiology of the human body.
  • Compare their personal dietary intake and patterns to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, utilizing Choose My-Plate and Diet and Wellness Plus software.
  • Articulate the specific relationship between nutrition and dental health.
  • Identify the function and food sources of nutrients essential to systemic and oral health.
  • Explain the role of nutrition in the synthesis and maintenance of the hard and soft oral tissues.
  • Describe the role of nutrition in the initiation and progression of dental caries and periodontal disease.
  • Examine food factors and eating patterns that may contribute to the development of caries and/or impact healing of oral tissues.
  • Analyze their personal carbohydrate intake.
  • Assess the nutritional value of food in relation to purchasing and planning meals.
  • Assess, analyze, and make recommendations to improve dietary patterns of individuals (including oneself) so improved nutritional intake may be attained and/or maintained.
  • Assess and analyze the role of nutrition in your personal dental health status and develop a treatment plan.
  • Appraise the nutrient content of their diet.
  • Demonstrate foundational knowledge of nutritional needs throughout the life cycle.
  • Examine the role of nutrition in the prevention and management of systemic & oral disease.
  • Formulate dietary measures that may prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease, as well as oral diseases.
  • Assess and analyze the medical, dental, social, and diet history of a dental patient and make recommendations to improve dietary patterns so improved dental health may be attained and/or maintained.
  • Provide sound nutritional concepts relative to general health and the prevention of dental disease.
  • Judge the validity of nutrition information on the Internet and in the media.