National Dental Hygiene Month 2014

This October, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company are partnering together for the fifth consecutive year to help raise public awareness about good oral health during National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM). The focus on NDHM this year again centers around the four components of good oral health maintenance: brushing teeth twice daily, flossing every day, rinsing with mouthwash and chewing sugar-free gum. This campaign exemplifies how the ADHA and Wrigley, the makers of Orbit® sugar-free gum, continue to seek out ways to improve public consciousness about bettering the nation’s oral health-care habits.

This year’s National Dental Hygiene Month will feature a national radio media tour highlighting the importance of proper dental hygiene with ADHA President Kelli Swanson Jaecks, MA, RDH. In addition, the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Foundation, in partnership with the ADHA Institute for Oral Health (IOH), is offering community service grants of $2,500 or $5,000 to applicants pursuing projects intended to improve their community’s oral health. The application deadline is Oct. 1, 2014. You can find more information on these grants within the ADHA IOH website by clicking here. The ADHA also is engaging with dental hygienists and the public through social media! Look for a contest on the ADHA’s Facebook and Instagram accounts, and follow the organization on Twitter to get the latest research and education news related to oral health and dental hygiene. And use the #brushflossrinsechew2014 hashtag to see the latest news around NDHM!

As the profession of dental hygiene enters its second century, the ADHA continues to work with those in the field committed to improving both oral and overall public health. For state and local dental hygienists’ associations, a number of public relations tools are available on the Resources section. These can be used to promote any state or local dental hygienists’ association NDHM event. In fact, under the “Event Resources” tab and “National Dental Hygiene Month” sub-navigation tab alone, eight documents are available for incorporation into programs and presentations.

As for the guidelines around brushing, flossing, rinsing and chewing sugar-free gum, patients can use the following best practices and apply it to their daily oral health regimen. For individuals in need of more information about oral health, please visit the Patient Resources category in the Resources section of the ADHA website.

Watch a video from ADHA President Kelli Swanson Jaecks about the ADHA’s support of National Dental Hygiene Month, as she thanks dental hygienists for all they do to treat and educate the public on good oral health practices. You can also find the video on the ADHA YouTube page.


Always brush two minutes, two times a day, every day

Research shows that brushing for two minutes is the single most important method for reducing plaque and preventing cavities, gingivitis and other plaque-related diseases. Brushing for two minutes twice a day is crucial to maintaining healthy smiles. Proper brushing technique cleans teeth and gums effectively. Here are some links to help you find out more about how to brush your way to a healthier smile and mouth.


Ensure Flossing is a Daily Habit

Daily flossing (or other methods of interdental cleaning) removes plaque and food particles that cannot be reached by a toothbrush, particularly under the gumline and between teeth. Failure to do so can allow for plaque buildup in these areas - which in turn can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Getting into the routine of daily flossing can be a challenge. Making flossing easier can improve compliance with recommendations for daily flossing. If you resist flossing, try to determine why and tell your dental hygienist. Knowing the precise reason you are not flossing will enable them to recommend floss with the right thickness, coating or filaments so you might be encouraged to floss more often. Here are some additional education information sources and resources to assist in making sure to floss each day.


Use mouthwash to improve oral health

Rinsing your mouth with an anti-microbial mouth rinse each day is another important step you can take to prevent gum disease (gingivitis). Remember that the teeth themselves account for less than half of your mouth, so brushing and flossing alone cannot eliminate all plaque and germs. Be sure to finish your oral care routine with an antiseptic mouthwash that carries the ADA Seal of Acceptance. You also should talk with your dental hygienist to determine which mouth rinse is right for you. The following educational information and resources can provide with you additional insight into the proper use of mouthwash.


Chewing sugar-free gum after eating can help fight tooth decay

Supported by:

Chewing sugar-free gum after eating is clinically proven to be an important part of good oral health. The action of chewing sugar-free gum stimulates the most important natural defense against tooth decay — saliva — which in turn helps fight cavities, neutralizes plaque acids, remineralizes enamel to strengthen teeth and washes away food particles. Scientific evidence clearly shows that chewing sugar-free gum, especially after eating and drinking, has a positive impact on oral health. Help your body naturally fight against tooth decay by chewing sugar-free gum after meals. Scientific evidence clearly shows that chewing sugar-free gum, especially after eating and drinking, has a positive impact on oral health.

Supported by:

Other Resources from the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company:

ADHA National Dental Hygiene Month ADHA's Complimentary CE Course.

Download the JADA supplement on the Effect of Saliva on Dental Caries
The online continuing education course is now closed.


For 2014, the ADHA is excited about an interactive contest to help promote and improve oral health during National Dental Hygiene Month!

Snap a Selfie with the NDHM Poster – and You Could Win $250!
Dental hygienists, take a photo of yourself with the 2014 National Dental Hygiene Month poster in the most unusual non-operatory setting — highlighting the need to brush, floss, rinse and chew of course — and submit it to us at Instagram or Facebook. Be sure to include the #brushflossrinsechew2014 and #NDHMSelfie hashtags when you post!

Please note that the Snap a Selfie competition for NDHM 2014 is closed, but you can view all of the submissions by clicking here.

Check our social media sites for more information!

About Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programs

For more than 25 years, Wrigley Oral Healthcare programs have supported independent, clinical research into the benefits of chewing gum including saliva stimulation, plaque acid neutralization and tooth strengthening to help oral care professionals and their patients understand the role of sugar-free gum as a convenient tool for everyday oral care. Today, Wrigley operates oral health care programs in 47 countries worldwide. Visit for more information.

Community Service

For October, ADHA will be sending out a special shipment to each state president to assist with their community service activities. Look for more information as National Dental Hygiene Month approaches.

NDHM Posters
2014 NDHM Poster 11 x 17 
2014 NDHM Poster 8.5 x 11
2013 NDHM Poster 11 x 17 
2013 NDHM Poster 8.5 x 11
2012 NDHM Poster 11 x 17 
2012 NDHM Poster 8.5 x 11
2011 NDHM Poster 11 x 17
2011 NDHM Poster 8.5 x11
2010 NDHM Poster 11 x 17
2010 NDHM Poster 8.5 x11

NDHM Materials
Child Oral Health Fact Sheet
Adolescent Oral Health Fact Sheet
Adult Oral Health
Senior Oral Health
Premature Birth Fact Sheet

Spanish-language Fact Sheets are Available/Hojas Informativas en Español Están Disponibles
ESPA-Atrapado Sin un Cepillo de Dientes
ESPA-Consejo que puede salvarle la vida
ESPA-El Cepillado Correcto
ESPA-Eliminar el mal aliento
ESPA-Lo que Necesita Saber Acerca de la Saliva
ESPA-Quién es el Higienista Dental
ESPA-Uso Apropiado del Hilo Dental

Dental Hygienists: This Month is About You!

National Dental Hygiene Month is an opportunity to share with the world the wonderful services which you, as a dental hygienist, provide to your patients and the community at large, but it's also a time to be recognized for that contribution. The month of October is the perfect time to take a moment and reflect upon your success and be rewarded for it. We’re here to help! For the entire month the ADHA will celebrate you, our members and potential members, for your daily contributions to your office, your patients and your community.

Please look for a special mailing in October with more details!

Public Relations Materials

Now is a great opportunity to begin promoting your NDHM events for this year! Start the process by using the templates created by ADHA to raise awareness of your event.

Download NDHM 2014 PR templates