A healthy smile lasts a lifetime. Thatís good news and itís also this yearís theme for the Student American Dental Hygiene Associationís celebration of National Dental Hygiene Month in October. Sponsored annually by the American Dental Hygienistsí Association (ADHA), National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM) is a month-long observance of the importance of proper oral hygiene. Observed in October, with a specific theme chosen by ADHA, participating communities are given the chance to recognize the contributions of dental hygienists towards community outreach efforts.
Registered dental hygienists (RDHs) are licensed professionals who complete an extensive formal education consisting of didactic and clinical preparation in preventive oral health care. It is with this knowledge and training that we hope to educate the public in better oral health care.
Research has shown a potential link between oral health care and systemic disease. More than 120 systemic diseases show up in the mouth and can be prevented if detected at an early stage (www. perio.org, www.deltadentalMN.com). Our focus this year will be the importance of the dental hygienistsí role in educating patients on proper oral health care for children as it relates to establishing good oral health habits at an early age. Emphasizing good oral health care habits at an early age will prevent future problems and possibly disease (www.ada.org).
With these goals in mind, we plan to celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month in special observance on 10/9 & 10/11. These activities, planned by SADHA, include the second year dental hygiene students distributing information regarding a number of childhood oral health statistics, and a link between oral disease and systemic disease. These statistics will surely make an impact on parents, community leaders, and childrenís health specialists. Everyone who knows a child will be interested and is encouraged to share this information with others who care about children and their overall health.
Thank you for your consideration. We hope to utilize the annual observance of National Dental Hygiene Month to help educate the public about their oral health.