October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) is working with the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program to promote the Daily 4—brush, floss, rinse, and chew—to teach patients to take simple steps to improve their oral and overall health.
This campaign is designed to arm dental hygienists with conversation starters and educational materials that encourage patients to brush their teeth twice a day, floss daily, rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash daily, and chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after meals. Daily 4 resources for dental professionals can be downloaded at adha.org/daily4.
“Oral health is directly linked to overall health,” said Tammy Filipiak, RDH, president of the ADHA. “By encouraging dental hygienists across the United States to have conversations with their patients about the Daily 4, we are helping patients understand that doing these 4 simple steps every day has a direct and positive impact on their total health.”
For example, hygienists are advised to:
- Show their patients how to properly brush their teeth before they leave the office;
- Ask their patients what they are doing to clean between their teeth;
- Encourage rinsing for a full 2 minutes with a that is alcohol-free; and
- Remind patients to chew sugar-free gum when they are otherwise unable to brush or rinse.
Also, the ADHA Institute for Oral Health is working with the Wrigley Company Foundation to offer grants of $2,500 or $5,000 to dental hygienists who pursue projects intended to improve their community’s oral health and provide oral health education. More than 90,000 people have received oral care through this ongoing partnership, expanding access to oral care for many underserved populations.