National Dental Hygiene Month (October, 2023) – District Health Department 10

national dental hygiene month

main facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Oral health is vital to overall health and well-being.
  • The three oral diseases that most impact overall health and quality of life are tooth decay, severe gum disease, and severe tooth loss.
  • Currently, one in four adults aged 20 to 64 has tooth decay.
  • Smoking and diabetes are two risk factors for gum disease.

This month is dedicated to promoting healthy mouths across the country and celebrating the hard work your favorite dental hygienists do to keep your pearly whites white.

Good oral/dental health means overall health. Dental problems like cavities or gum disease can impair your ability to eat and speak properly, causing pain and bad breath. Many people may not realize that poor dental health can have profound negative effects on areas beyond the mouth, including the heart, diabetes, pregnancy, and chronic inflammation like arthritis, to name a few.

Reduce risk of disease

When we have gum disease, bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream. It then produces a protein that causes the blood to thicken. This means blood clots are more likely to form and the heart doesn't get the nutrients and oxygen it needs, leading to an increased risk of heart attack.

Likewise, gum disease can cause inflammation of blood vessels, blocking blood supply to the brain, leading to potential stroke.

New research also shows that if we have gum disease, we are more likely to develop diabetes.

Remember Daily 4:


Two minutes, twice a day, every day.” Brushing your teeth for two minutes is the most important way to prevent cavities, gingivitis, and other plaque-related diseases.

dental floss

Make flossing a daily habit. Daily flossing is essential to maintaining a healthy smile. Flossing removes plaque and food that your toothbrush can't reach. Without flossing, plaque can build up under the gum line and between teeth, leading to cavities and gum disease.


Use mouthwash. Gargling with mouthwash is another way to prevent gum disease. All teeth take up less than half of your mouth, so rinsing your mouth daily with an antibacterial mouthwash is essential to eliminate plaque and bacteria.


Fight tooth decay by chewing sugar-free gum. Chewing sugarless gum after a meal helps protect your teeth because it stimulates the salivary glands, which produce saliva to clear bacteria from the mouth.

Quick links:

DHD#10 – Oral Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Oral Health

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