National Dental Hygiene Month this October

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association Celebrates Revamped
National Dental Hygiene Month this October
 
Chicago-September 13, 2010—For its 2010 celebration, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), in collaboration with Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, manufacturer of Orbit® sugarfree gum, has restructured its National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM) format, with a renewed focus on developing healthy habits on the go, community service and recognizing the day-to-day efforts of dental hygienists nationwide.
 
“National Dental Hygiene Month is a prime time to not only honor and celebrate dental hygiene and hygienists, but also to make the public more aware of the practices that ensure optimal oral health,” ADHA President Caryn Solie, RDH, said. “Teaming up with the Wrigley Company will help promote this message and give dental hygienists opportunities to reach out to their communities and make a difference.”
 
 
News Highlights
 
 
New National Dental Hygiene Month Theme
 
ADHA continues to emphasize the value of dental hygienists working to increase public awareness about the importance of preventive services in keeping good oral hygiene and the correlation between oral health and total health.
 
This year’s NDHM theme, “Healthy Habits are Easier than You Think,” promotes the idea that good oral hygiene habits are simple to establish and maintain, even for the person living an active lifestyle. “Brush, Floss, Rinse, Chew” reminds consumers that keeping a healthy mouth can have lasting effects, including helping prevent oral disease.
 
Prevention is at the center of NDHM this October. About 75 percent of Americans have some form of periodontal disease. Employed adults lose more than 164 million hours of work each year due to oral health problems or dental visits (CDC). Making time for good oral health is vastly important, and incorporating a daily oral hygiene routine into a busy schedule is vital in the prevention of gum disease and tooth decay at any age.
 
Community Service
 
The ADHA Institute for Oral Health (IOH) has partnered with the Wrigley Company Foundation to offer the members of the ADHA the opportunity to apply for community service grants to coincide with NDHM. IOH was created to provide funding for scholarships, fellowships and research and community service grants to dental hygienists throughout the U.S.
 
The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Foundation Community Service Grant will be awarded in the amount of $5,000 per grantee to help ADHA’s state constituents and local components, as well as individuals, fund specific community health projects designed to improve their community’s oral health. Twelve grants, one for each of ADHA’s 12 districts, will be awarded to applicants who demonstrate that the project coincides with the IOH’s mission and vision.
 
“The Wrigley Company Foundation is delighted to partner with the IOH on this Community Service Grant program to provide greatly needed oral health services and education in local communities across the country” said Mary Houpt, Executive Director of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Foundation.
 
In addition to the grants, the “RDHs in Action: Coming Together for Community Oral Health” YouTube contest will allow dental hygienists to submit a video showcasing their community service efforts. Winners could receive one of many prizes, sponsored by ADHA and Wrigley’s Orbit®.
 
ADHA encourages all dental hygienists and other dental professionals and supporters nationwide to take part in NDHM this October. For further details about NDHM, go to www.adha.org/ndhm/index.html.
 
ADHA is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of more than 150,000 dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. For more information about ADHA, dental hygiene or the link between oral health and general health, visit ADHA at www.adha.org.