The Utah Dental Hygienists’ Association announces
National Dental Hygiene Month
Sponsored by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), this event is a month-long observance of the importance of proper oral hygiene. The theme this year is “A Healthy Smile Lasts a Lifetime” with emphasis on establishing good habits early, for preventing childhood dental diseases.
The Utah Dental Hygienists Association was founded in the mid 1960s, hosting a few dozen members. In May 2006, the State of Utah granted licenses to nearly 1600 dental hygienists who benefit from the only dental hygiene organization in Utah that writes as their first purpose in policy: “to improve the oral health of the public”. UDHA further pronounces in general policy that “UDHA recognizes the dental hygienist as an educated professional who has graduated from a dental hygiene program accredited by the Council on Dental Accreditation and whose qualifications are confirmed by both didactic and clinical licensing examinations. Therefore, the Dental Hygienist, duly licensed in the State of Utah and subject to the disciplinary actions of a regulatory board, is responsible for the quality of treatment professionally rendered.”
That is the reason UDHA encourages everyone who has access to a dental clinic or private dental practice to schedule routine oral health assessment appointments. A tooth cleaning during National Dental Hygiene Month is a good idea before the rush of holiday treats begins! When you call, ask the receptionist if there is a hygienist on the team. Hygienists are prevention specialists that have many ideas to help prevent cavities from age 1 to 101!
UDHA recommends that you make sure you are receiving care from a properly educated and licensed oral health prevention specialist – a registered dental hygienist. Ask the person delivering care if she or he has graduated from an accredited program. If it is not in plain view, ask to see the license issued by the state to qualified practitioners. Get to know your hygienist by name and be sure to ask for your personalized home care instructions, including which prescriptions and over the counter dental products may be necessary for your specific needs. Remember: Prevention is the key to a healthy mouth. Discuss any questions or concerns you have about oral health, as part of your total health, with your dental hygienist – a prevention expert.
To prevent and treat disease, dental hygienists remove plaque (a stubborn film that contains bacteria), and calculus (tartar) both above and below the gum line. Dental hygienists know that a rubber cup polisher does not remove tartar, only stain. To prevent caries, dental hygienists provide nutritional counseling, apply fluorides and pit-and-fissure sealants.
Because they specialize in preventive oral health care, they are the perfect health care provider to educate the public on oral health and its effect on overall health. They know that cavities and gum disease are bacterial infections and that these bacteria do not stay in your mouth, but flow throughout your entire body. In an effort to insure total body health, the UDHA encourages you to visit your dental hygienist regularly. For more information about Utah hygienists log on to: www.udhaonline.org
For free information provided by the American Dental Hygienists Association on how to establish good oral health routines for your children log on to: www.adha.org