NDHM - Start the Conversation

Are you ready to start the conversation? NDHM2016, is a great time to discuss the steps of the Daily 4 with your patients and help them understand the importance of keeping a regular oral health routine that works for them.

The Daily 4

The Daily 4 represent the foundation for healthy smiles. Communicate to your patients that incorporating these steps into a regular oral health routine can have a significant impact on oral and overall health. Take this time to discuss the benefits of each step, and remember, proper technique is key!

  • Brush

    • Floss*

        You know that daily proper flossing or use of other interdental cleaning methods removes biofilm and food particles that a toothbrush can't reach. Patients need to be aware that lack of adequate care in these areas can lead to biofilm buildup, which can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

        If patients have questions about flossing related to recent news coverage regarding its effectiveness, take advantage of the opportunity to educate them on the importance of proper flossing technique and inform them of other beneficial interdental cleaning options.

        Flossing may not be right for everyone, so it is important for you to work in partnership with each patient to identify the interdental cleaning method that best suits his or her oral health needs and abilities.

        ADHA's recent media statement addresses the concerns surrounding lack of research supporting flossing and encourages dental hygienists to participate in the scientific discoveries necessary to advance our knowledge and understanding of maintaining and improving the public's oral health. We recommend familiarizing yourself with the newly revised National Dental Hygiene Research Agenda as a first step in strengthening and furthering research findings. ADHA offers support of such research opportunities through our Institute for Oral Health (IOH) research grants, which will be available to members starting November 1.

        Here are a few tips you can pass along to help make flossing/interdental cleaning a part of your patients' oral health routines.

      • Rinse

        • Chew

            Chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks helps protect teeth and complements a healthy oral care routine. Do your patients understand how bacteria in the biofilm on teeth produce acid, and that this can decrease oral pH to an unsafe level? Make sure they know that 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 sugar-free gum also increase the quantity of saliva in the mouth. This helps clean out food particles and neutralizes biofilm acids on the teeth.

            Other resources from the WOHP can be found by clicking here.

            Wrigley is proud to support NDHM. The WOHP has a long-standing commitment to partnering with dental professionals and draws on decades of clinical research and expertise about the oral care benefits of sugar-free gum. To learn more about the WOHP, visit

*ADHA wants to emphasize that starting the conversation is a key aspect of NDHM. Conversations about the recent news coverage of flossing and the benefits of interdental cleaning are strongly encouraged. Dental hygienists are in the ideal position to discuss interdental cleaning with patients, recommend the interdental cleaning devices that best fit their oral health needs and educate patients to use them effectively.