The goals of National Dental Hygiene Month are to increase awareness about the importance of good oral health habits and to celebrate dental hygienists.
A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who focuses on the prevention and treatment of oral diseases.
Dental hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth and gums clean and healthy to prevent disease.
According to the CDC, “Dental hygiene and oral health are often taken for granted but are essential parts of our everyday lives.”
The History of NDHM
Since 2009, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and chewing gum manufacturer the Wrigley Company have worked together to increase public awareness about the importance of having healthy teeth and gums.
What are the Signs of Good Oral Hygiene?
Dental professionals say 10 signs of good oral hygiene are:
- The gums do not bleed when brushing or flossing.
- The gums should be a nice pink color.
- Pleasant smelling breath is present.
- Smooth feeling teeth mean clean teeth.
- Having teeth that are not sensitive.
- The tongue is pink, firm and moist.
- The teeth are strong and do the job they are supposed to do.
- There are no signs of gum disease present.
- There are no signs of smoking effects.
- A nice, bright, beautiful smile with no signs of discoloration.
What are some good oral hygiene habits?
Along with visiting your dentist twice a year, the most effective way to maintain good oral hygiene is to practice the following 10 steps:
- Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth.
- Brush your teeth properly twice a day.
- Gently brush your tongue to remove plaque
- Use fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Use ready-to-use dental flossers.
- Use a mouthwash to reduce the amount of acid in your mouth.
- Drink more water.
- Eat more fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables.
- Eat less sugary and acidic foods
What are some of the advantages of becoming a dental hygienist?
- Dental Hygienists often enjoy a flexible schedule.
- Dental Hygienists are an important part of the dental team.
- Dental hygienists make a median pay of $30 per hour.
- Industry growth rates indicate that by 2026 there will be 40,900 new positions in this field waiting to be filled.
What sort of degree does a dental hygienist need?
At the minimum, a dental hygienist must have an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree from an accredited program to be eligible for licensure in the state of Ohio.
Where can I get the training I need to enter this profession?
Located at Hocking College’s Perry Campus in New Lexington, Ohio, Hocking College’s Dental Hygiene program offers the required training in general education, biomedical sciences, dental sciences and dental hygiene sciences.
Students who complete this program will be eligible to take their national and regional board exams and their state exams to become a registered dental hygienist.
In only two years, students can graduate with an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene degree.