This past October, National Dental Hygiene Month, more than 500 dental professionals teamed up with the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) and Oral-B Laboratories to participate in a new community outreach program called Smiles Within Reach'. The program recognizes and encourages the professional support of dental hygienists in their successful efforts to promote oral health and provide access to oral care education within the community.
The health driven need for such a program is evidenced by the fact that according to ADHA, and a recent Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health, proper preventive oral health access and care can potentially reduce the risk of many life-threatening diseases. In addition, dental hygienists throughout the United States need to be recognized for their volunteer efforts, a goal of Smiles Within Reach.
"The access issue has been central to ADHA's mission for 80 years," said Tammi O. Byrd, RDH, ADHA president. "Smiles Within Reach represents ADHA's ongoing commitment to educating communities about oral health, the dental hygiene profession and the state of the nation's public health."
Recent success stories from the Smiles Within Reach program include participation from:
Elements of the new Smiles Within Reach program include oral health education materials that hygienists may distribute at community outreach events; planning and education resources to help communicate key messages to particular target groups; and assistance in identifying individuals in need of oral care education. In addition, the program provides a network to share community event organizing tips and successes with other state and local dental hygiene associations. Through the Smiles Within Reach program, Oral-B and ADHA are recognizing the important role dental hygienists play in maintaining good oral health for all patients. For more information on Smiles Within Reach, please visit www.smileswithinreach.org.
ADHA is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of the more than 120,000 dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who provide educational, clinical and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral health. For more information about ADHA, dental hygiene or the link between oral health and general health, visit ADHA at www.adha.org.
A division of The Gillette Company, Oral-B (www.oralb.com) is the worldwide leader in both the manual and power toothbrush markets with products. Oral-B also sells a wide range of interdental and specialty oral care products, as well as professional products for in office use.
Headquartered in Boston, The Gillette Company (www.gillette.com) is the world leader in male grooming, a category that includes blades, razors and shaving preparations. Gillette also holds the number one position worldwide in selected female grooming products, such as wet shaving products and hair epilation devices. In addition, the Company is the world leader in alkaline batteries.
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