National Dental Hygiene Month 2015

This October marks the sixth straight year that the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company are teaming together during National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM), with the ADHA and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program (WOHP) working collaboratively to increase public awareness about the importance of maintaining good oral health. The focus on NDHM this year centers around the four components of good oral health maintenance: brushing teeth twice daily, flossing every day, rinsing with antimicrobial mouthrinse and chewing sugar-free gum. Dental hygienists are encouraged to remind patients to “Do the daily 4” and, during each dental office visit, start a conversation with them on how integrating good oral health-care habits into their daily routine will benefit not just their oral health, but also contribute to improved overall health.

Throughout National Dental Hygiene Month, the ADHA, WOHP and other allied stakeholders will work to help dental hygienists make a difference in their communities, and offer resources to help raise awareness and share information. Below, you will see a short video from ADHA President Jill Rethman, RDH, BA, outlining just why NDHM – and starting the conversation with your dental hygienist about disease prevention – is so important.

ADHA Immediate Past President Kelli Swanson Jaecks, MA, RDH, has a 30-minute video webinar geared to educate elementary school students about the importance of good oral health care habits. The webinar shares information about a number of topics, including how to maintain good brushing and flossing habits, and the impact that excessive amounts of sugary foods and drinks can have on oral health. Click the image below to view the video.

Below you will see a variety of resources and helpful tips that you can use during National Dental Hygiene Month. Click on the subheads to expand the content and learn more.

  • Resources and Product Samples

      This year, the ADHA is again proud to make valuable resources and product samples available to dental hygienists involved in community outreach and patient sampling initiatives, including Orbit sugar-free gum, Reach dental floss, Listerine antiseptic mouthrinse, coupon pads and other educational materials. To find out more and to make a sample request, please click here.

      We’ve also put together a host of other resources on this page that offer more information on the daily 4, links that you can share with patients on proper brushing, flossing and the use of an antimicrobial mouthrinse, and how chewing sugar-free gum can help you maintain good oral health when you can’t brush your teeth by stimulating saliva production. You can see those resources below. In addition, you will find downloadable versions of past NDHM posters, NDHM materials that can be shared with patients, Spanish-language materials and handouts, and other helpful links. To learn more and access those materials, click here. And for individuals seeking additional oral health information, please visit the Patient Resources category in the Resources section of the ADHA website.

      For state and local dental hygienists’ associations, a number of public relations tools are available to you by clicking here. These templates can be modified to fit your needs, and help promote any state or local dental hygienists’ association NDHM event.

  • Capture a Candid or Share Your #NDHM2015 Story

      Do you have an exciting story to tell about your community outreach project or unique event that is helping improve the public’s oral health? Share it with us on ADHA’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Tell us how you and your fellow hygienists are making a difference and improving the health of your patients. And be sure to include the #NDHM2015 with your posts, so that others can track and follow the positive impact dental hygienists are having each day.

      And to bring a little fun and interest to this year’s NDHM campaign, the ADHA and the WOHP are again supporting the highly popular NDHM Poster Contest. This year’s “Capture a Candid” contest encourages dental hygienists to take a picture of themselves, their colleagues, their community – anyone who is committed to improving oral health – and the NDHM poster in the most unique non-operatory setting. Be sure to highlight the Daily 4 regimen of brush, floss, rinse and chew, share your photo with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and include the #NDHM2015 hashtag with your submission. And of course, encourage friends and colleagues to like or favorite your submission! A first-, second- and third-place cash prize will be awarded ($150, $100 and $50 respectively) to the winners at the contest’s conclusion on Oct. 31.

  • Take a Free CE Course

      In 2015, the ADHA and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program teamed up to offer an all-new National Dental Hygiene Month complimentary CE course. This year's program, "Chewing Gum, Eating Behaviors, Oral Ecology and Saliva As a Homeostatic Mechanism," was taught by Michael W.J. Dodds, BDS, PhD, oral health lead, scientific and analytical discovery at the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Unfortunately the complimentary CE course is now closed and no longer available. Individuals who have already registered for the course but not yet finished it have been sent an email with instructions on how to access the video and complete the program. If you have questions regarding your registration and how to finish the course, please contact

  • Community Service Grants Available

      The ADHA’s Institute for Oral Health (IOH) is again proud to partner with the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Foundation to offer community service grants of $2,500 or $5,000 to applicants pursuing projects intended to improve their community’s oral health. The submission deadline is Oct. 1, 2015, so those interested in applying should submit their application now. You can find more information on these grants within the ADHA IOH website by clicking here.

      And of course, National Dental Hygiene Month is a celebration of dental hygienists and the important role they play in the lives of their patients and the communities they serve. To help recognize those important contributions, the ADHA and the WOHP want to share a special thank you with all ADHA members. Please look for a unique message and gift with your September/October issue of Access magazine. We are here to support you all year round, but want to take this time to especially say thank you to our members and potential members for your daily contributions to your office, your patients and your community. Thank you for all that you do each and every day!

  • Brush

      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.

  • Floss

      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.

  • Chew

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

      Research shows that chewing sugarfree gum after meals and snacks helps protect your teeth, complementing a healthy oral care routine. After eating or drinking, bacteria in the plaque on teeth produce acid, and plaque pH can decrease to an unsafe level. This can cause demineralization that, over time, weakens teeth and can lead to decay. Chewing stimulates the salivary glands to increase their flow rate by up to 10 times during the first few minutes of chewing and the flavors in sugarfree gum also increase the quantity of saliva in the mouth. When brushing isn’t possible after eating or drinking, chewing sugarfree gum, like Orbit, stimulates saliva, which can help clean food particles and neutralize plaque acids on the teeth, as well as helping to back mineral density in teeth by shifting the equilibrium from demineralization to remineralization. Other Resources from the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program can be found by clicking here.

      Wrigley is proud to support National Dental Hygiene Month. The Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program has a longstanding commitment to partnering with dental professionals, and draws on decades of clinical research and expertise about the oral care benefits of sugarfree gum. To learn more about the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program, visit

Chewing sugar-free gum is a fun way to help keep teeth healthy while on-the-go after eating and drinking

Supported by:

About Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programs

For more than 25 years Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programs (WOHP) 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 sugarfree gum as a convenient tool for everyday oral care. Today Wrigley operates oral healthcare programs in 47 countries worldwide. The WOHP is one example of how we make a difference to people and the planet through performance and how we incorporate our principles based approach to business into all that we do. For more information please visit

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Additional NDHM materials