Fleur Bruna did not initially set out to become a dental hygienist. Her whole life she wanted to be a pediatrician. She went to college to follow that lifelong dream. However, during a college internship she realized that she had been mistaken in her career choice. During the summer break she went to work for an oral surgeon. That experience opened her eyes as she was deeply affected by seeing many young people who were losing teeth due to their lack of dental education. Dental hygiene found her as her experiences in the oral surgeon’s office helped her to realize that she wanted to be a positive driving force in patients’ lives. She wanted to help prevent dental disease. She has currently been in practice for over 15 years and has been with her current office for over 8 years.
Fleur is passionate about educating her patients. She however doesn’t just educate the ones in her chair, she has expanded her reach by creating a blog to help educate the masses! Open Wide, www.open-wide-blog.com was created so as to break open wide the dental world of all the secrets, tips and tricks of the dental field. She wants to continue to grow her blog and make it accessible to as many people as possible.
With her blog she endeavors to give patients the ability to educate themselves so as to understand their various treatment options so as to make informed decisions regarding their dental health. “I want patients to be their own advocates.” Fleur is especially proud of her ability to confidently advocate for herself, her beloved profession, and for others she comes in contact with. She has taken initiative and started programs that are still in place after several decades. She values the opportunity she has had to create lifelong relationships and friendships throughout her career with her patients, she has enjoyed “Seeing kids grow to adults and to truly be able to change a viewpoint of people’s dental education.” The best compliment she has received is that she is extremely thorough. Fleur states, “A patient truly feels like they have been heard. I hear a lot that it is the best cleaning I have ever had or no one has ever told me that before and I have been searching for answers.” She endeavors to forge powerful connections with her patients and to leave them feeling educated and empowered.
Fleur’s son was born with cleft lip and palate. She has had to advocate for him in various dental settings and in post operative treatment. She is well aware that many parents don’t have the ability to successfully advocate for their child as she has done. She would love to see more dental hygienists employed in hospital settings. This would increase access to care to help those that are not only at high risk of dental diseases, but to make post operative treatments more successful. Teaching patients with a more collaborative care approach will improve their home care efforts.
An oral health topic that Fleur is passionate about is the prevention and detection of oral cancer. With vaping, the use of other forms of tobacco, as well as the increase of marijuana smoking on the rise she states she has seen higher prevalence of precancerous lesions. “I don’t think people understand the prevalence of oral cancer, and what to look for. Even when people quit smoking the use of Nicolette is only meant for short term, but we recently had a patient’s mother who chewed the gum multiple times a day for over 15 years and recently lost the entire back 3/4 of her tongue due to oral cancer. She was not a patient of ours but the patient was relaying to us the lack of education she had thinking she was in the clear because she had stopped smoking.” Patient education is imperative so as to empower our patients to be aware of how their choices can affect their oral and overall health.
We are grateful that dental hygiene found Fleur. She is a passionate advocate for herself and her patients. We are confident you will enjoy her blog ‘Open Wide’ and getting to know and connecting with her further in our network.