Dr. Alfred Fones, an 1890 graduate of the New York College of Dentistry, developed a technique for polishing and scaling teeth and also taught his patients to carry out home-care procedures.
By 1906, acting under the preventive dictum that "a clean tooth never decays" Fones was sure that the oral health of his patients was improved through his oral prophylactic practices. He trained his assistant to practice dental hygiene, and in 1907 he was instrumental in having dental hygiene legally recognized in Connecticut as an adjunct to dental practice.
Dr. Fones went on to establish the first school of dental hygiene in 1913. Accepting only "young ladies of good character" the school was located in a carriage house on the grounds in the residence of Dr. Fones. Connecticut passed legislation specifically describing the practice of dental hygiene in 1916. Ten states had similar legislation in place by 1920, and the total rose to 34 in 1935. Not until 1951, however, did the practice acts of all states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia include provisions for the practice of dental hygiene.
Dentistry, Dental Practice, and the Community