Beth Jordan, RDH, MS , is a graduate of the Dental Hygiene Program at Westbrook College, University of New England in Portland, Maine, where she worked as adjunct clinical faculty for nearly 10 years and now serves on the college’s advisory committee. She worked in private clinical practice until 2001 when she joined the Procter & Gamble Co (Crest Oral-B).
A member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Jordan has served as a state delegate. In 2011, she was recognized in Maine as “RDH of the Year” honored as a “catalyst for professional development.” A contributor to the Darby and Walsh dental hygiene textbook, she has lectured to audiences of practicing dental professionals, students, and faculty.
Jordan has held several positions at Crest Oral-B and is a member of the Global Professional & Scientific Relations team where she contributes to scientific dissemination and passionately supports P&G’s commitment to oral health and prevention.
Q. How did you make the transition from clinical practice to industry?
A. Simple: Networking. Before I started dental hygiene school, I knew I would always seek learning and growing opportunities, though I wasn’t sure exactly what those opportunities would look like. First, upon graduation, I looked to my state hygiene association—an incredibly supportive group. Through networking, I purposefully sought out others who worked in industry, academia, and research to learn about their passions, roles, and their likes and dislikes.
In the beginning, I ventured into a variety of roles, I was open to learn in any capacity. All the while practicing clinically, I tried multiple environments such as working in a dental lab, correctional facility, adjunct clinical faculty, and sales. I realized that dental hygiene opens a lot of doors to follow your passion and make an impact—now even more than ever!
It was through one of these networking conversations that someone who I had a brief conversation with remembered my interest and called me to interview for Crest Oral-B. At the time of that call, I had literally just found an amazing practice to join, so it was a tough choice. At the time I remember thinking “I can always do clinical patient care, and stay on my current trajectory, I’ll never know if I don’t try for this new sales opportunity!”
Q. Why do you believe mentorship is important in dental hygiene and how do you model that in your own career?
A. “Turn and pull” is a phrase we use at Procter & Gamble to ensure that we keep our eyes open to the talent around us and “pull” them along with us to gain experience and exposure. Having worked for P&G for more than 20 years I have experienced both having and being a mentor as an important part of my learning journey. In addition, I have experienced both sides among the many dental professionals whom I have been lucky enough to cross paths with and either was mentored by or who I have mentored across the span of careers in the profession, including still today.
The experience you gain as a dental hygienist working in private practice is invaluable to patient care. Mentorship is important to the dental hygienist who desires to grow professionally, whether in the operatory directly caring for patients, or outside the office in another capacity. You can amplify your learning and explore opportunities by purposefully growing your network and seeking mentorship. You must put yourself in the places where you want to grow your experiences and expertise. As you network, you will find those that are willing to “turn and pull.”
In my experience if you show interest in learning, people want to help you grow. As a mentee, it is critical to reach out to engage with those you want to learn from, ask questions for guidance, and be open to evaluate a variety of points of view. It is critical to be willing to be vulnerable as you encounter uncomfortable growth opportunities. It is also important to know yourself as a participant in the process. I truly enjoy mentoring because can be both challenging and rewarding to invest time and know that both my mentee and I are changed in the process. It is personally enriching to be a trusted advisor and contribute to others’ success.
Q. What does your position as Global Professional & Scientific Relations/Dental Student Education Curriculum entail?
A. I am a voice of the dental professional to my work teams internally while representing our product technologies outside of P&G. I interact with researchers and marketers globally to bring scientific evidence, technology, and innovation to dental professionals to support the work clinicians do to transition or maintain their patients’ oral health. I am part of teams that drive publication strategy, dentalcare.com educational content, and marketing strategy in addition to supporting sales teams. I collaborate with global and national key opinion leaders to learn and share ideas. I also work with faculty and educators to support a preventive curriculum for their programs. I am always learning and being challenged in this unique position, and I am honored to represent the goals of oral health and prevention.
Q. What do you think the future holds for the profession of dental hygiene?
A. I see so many possibilities, especially for a driven professional. Advances in science, innovative products, technology, and equipment have evolved the ways that dental hygienists provide patient care. The variety of settings in which dental hygienists work to serve patients and scope of practice opportunities are growing and evolving. I think dental hygienists are at the forefront of preventive medicine, which is the future of healthcare, especially with the rise of self-care. I believe we can carve out a very satisfying and impactful career and I look forward to supporting the movers and shakers in dental hygiene and seeing what the future holds.