Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month

Oct. 19, 2002
October is a time for all consumers to reconsider their oral health habits, and to enhance their smiles through cosmetic, according to the AACD.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, a time for all consumers to reconsider their oral health habits, and to enhance their smiles through cosmetic dentistry by visiting an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry(R) (AACD) dentist and hygienist dental team.

"Today's dental hygienists no longer solely clean patients' teeth. A contemporary hygienist is responsible for detecting oral cancer, examining cracked crowns, and promoting the benefits of cosmetic dentistry to the patient before the dentist ever looks in the mouth. The AACD recognizes the importance of dental hygienists in the modern cosmetic dental practice, and provides advanced training for all AACD hygienists to better care for the public's oral health," commented AACD President Wynn Okuda, DMD, of Honolulu, Hawaii.

Visiting an AACD dental hygienist and dentist team, every six months or as scheduled, is vital in properly caring for teeth and gums. Regular professional visits are also important because gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, is usually painless and a patient may not be able to detect it on their own. AACD dental hygienists also educate patients about the hazards of tobacco and can offer smoking cessation programs.

In addition to daily care and visiting an AACD dentist-hygienist dental team, total oral health requires proper nutritional habits. Several foods that help build healthy teeth and gums include:
-- Dairy products provide calcium and vitamin D that strengthens teeth and bones
-- Breads and cereals supply B vitamins for growth and iron for healthy blood, a key contributor to healthy gum tissue.
-- Fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C and other important vitamins, which are essential to maintaining healthy gum tissue.
-- Meat, fish, poultry and beans provide magnesium and zinc that strengthen teeth and bones.

Each year, the AACD, the world's largest organization of cosmetic dental professionals, helps thousands of consumers find the right cosmetic dentist and dental hygienist through its patient referral and information network at no charge. Consumers can access the service by calling toll-free to 800.543.9220, or logging on to the AACD Web site at www.aacd.com.