October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Published 10:39 am Monday, October 10, 2016

For the seventh straight year, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program are proud to support National Dental Hygiene Month.

The month honors dental hygienists  and helping you start the onversation about the importance of good oral health and doing the Daily 4.

The Daily 4 represent the foundation for healthy smiles. Communicate to your patients that incorporating these steps into a regular oral health routine can have a significant impact on oral and overall health. Take this time to discuss the benefits of each step, and remember, proper technique is key.

Brush

Do you know that two is the magic number? Tooth brushing for two minutes twice a day helps reduce biofilm and prevent caries, gingivitis and other biofilm-related diseases.

Floss

You know that daily proper flossing or use of other interdental cleaning methods removes biofilm and food particles that a toothbrush can’t reach.

You know daily proper flossing or use of other interdental cleaning methods removes biofilm and food particles that a toothbrush can’t reach. Patients need to be aware that lack of adequate care in these areas can lead to biofilm buildup, which can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

If patients have questions about flossing related to recent news coverage regarding its effectiveness, take advantage of the opportunity to educate them on the importance of proper flossing technique and inform them of other beneficial interdental cleaning options.

Flossing may not be right for everyone, so it is important for you to work in partnership with each patient to identify the interdental cleaning method that best suits his or her oral health needs and abilities.

ADHA’s recent media statement addresses the concerns surrounding lack of research supporting flossing and encourages dental hygienists to participate in the scientific discoveries necessary to advance our knowledge and understanding of maintaining and improving the public’s oral health. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the newly revised National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda as a first step in strengthening and furthering research findings. ADHA offers support of such research opportunities through our Institute for Oral Health research grants, which will be available to members starting Nov. 1.

Rinse

Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse helps eliminate biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot.

Because teeth alone account for less than half of the mouth, patients need to be reminded not to forget about the rest. Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse helps eliminate biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot. Partner with your patients to determine which antiseptic mouth rinse is right for them.

Chew

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks helps protect teeth and complements a healthy oral care routine. Chewing stimulates the salivary glands to increase their flow rate by up to 10 times during the first few minutes of chewing, and the flavors in sugar-free gum also increase the quantity of saliva in the mouth. This helps clean out food particles and neutralizes biofilm acids on the teeth.

Chewing stimulates the salivary glands to increase their flow rate by up to 10 times during the first few minutes of chewing, and the flavors in sugar-free gum also increase the quantity of saliva in the mouth. This helps clean out food particles and neutralizes biofilm acids on the teeth.

Our health department has added a team of dental professionals to provide preventative dental services to the students of the Clark County school district (grades 1-12) at school. These services provided to the students was also backed and made possible with our partnerships with the Clark County Board of Education and our local schools. We are both excited to expand on a program that stemmed from the Oral Health Initiative started in 2008.

Providing steps

for prevention

Each student whose parent signed the Clark County Health Departments form allowing their child to receive services will be provided a dental cleaning, dental varnish, dental sealants if needed, and of course one on one oral hygiene instructions. These services are the foundation of a lifetime of good oral health habits and knowledge.

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone — including children — receive a dental cleaning every six months. Cleanings remove tarter and bacteria that sometimes brushing alone cannot remove. Helping to reduce or eliminate gingivitis with proper homecare.

Another service we will provide is fluoride varnish. After teeth erupt fluoride is applied to the surface of teeth to aid in the rebuilding or remineralization of tooth enamel. This helps to decrease the likelihood of early dental decay. Fluoride is a mineral naturally in our environment that is beneficial to our teeth in both children and adults.

Last but not least is the application of dental sealants. Dental sealants reduce and/or prevent cavities by helping to shield the areas in which dental decay (cavities) usually begin, the chewing surfaces on our back teeth. Sealants are a plastic like resin that is directly applied to the tooth. Students will likely have sealants applied to molars that erupt at 6 and 12 years of age. These sealants can last years before needing reapplication and do not require any changes to be made to the tooth structure (no drilling).

Not only do these steps for prevention help to lower the occurrence of early childhood caries in our students but there are other goals in mind. The primary goal is to connect each child or student with a dental home. We to supply students, who do not see a regular dentist, with a referral to a local dentist.

We look forward to a great year of oral health prevention. For additional information, contact the Clark County Health Department at 744-4482.

Additional fluoride, sealant, and other oral health information at www.mouthhealthy.org.

Article information taken from: www.adha.org

Visit the Clark County Health Department website at www.clarkhealthdept.org. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @CCHealthDept.