October is National Dental Hygiene Month and we are celebrating in two ways! First, we want to draw attention to good oral hygiene practices. And second, we want to celebrate the thousands of dental hygienists in America that provide excellent patient care and help us optimize our dental health with proper oral hygiene. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) celebrates National Dental Hygiene Month every October because they know just how important it is for patients to practice good dental hygiene every single day. The ADHA takes this month to highlight healthy habits including what they call the “Daily 4.”
The Daily 4, which includes Brushing, Flossing, Rinsing and Chewing, should be a part of everyone’s routine and they should all happen twice per day. Colgate provides some helpful pointers for proper brushing technique which everyone needs a reminder of, from time to time:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
In addition to drawing attention to proper oral hygiene, we also want to celebrate hard-working dental hygienists and all that they do to support oral health. Did you know that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental hygienists is project to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024 which is much faster than average for all occupations! That means if you are entering the dental hygienist field, or considering entering it, you can rest assured that you will have job security in your profession. Additionally, the average income for dental hygienists is $72,910 per year. Dental hygienists are an incredibly important part of any dental practice team. They not only help educate patients about dental health and provide critical patient care services but they also help support the financial health of a dental practice. Dental hygienists are often in charge of reminding patients about necessary dental treatment or encouraging them to schedule more consistent appointments that can help a practice generate revenue. National Dental Hygiene Month is an important time to draw attention to how we can all take better care of our dental hygiene and say “thank you” to the wonderful dental hygienists across America.