October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

By Donna Behrens, Project Advisor, School-Based Oral Health Services, School-Based Health Alliance

We know that tooth decay is the most prevalent and preventable chronic disease for children in the U.S. today. Join the Alliance as we work to improve oral health for kids and teens across the country, and help spread the word about simple prevention strategies for schools and school-based health centers.

“Oral health is essential for well-being and supports academic success,” says John Schlitt, president of the Alliance. “Our work with the 10 largest school districts in the U.S. is focused on integrating oral health care with the school environment. Kids can establish great habits at an early age that help them maintain their oral health for a lifetime.”

The Alliance is partnering with DentaQuest Foundation to support the broad Oral Health 2020 initiative designed to meet national oral health goals. These include the eradication of dental disease in children, incorporating oral health into the primary education system, increasing oral health insurance coverage, and shaping public understanding of the link between oral health and overall health.

This month, the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) is offering great resources for National Dental Hygiene Month and is emphasizing four daily steps to support regular oral health routines: brush, floss, rinse, chew. ADHA’s “Start the Conversation” campaign reminds that it’s never too late to start and simple techniques can have significant impact.

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In September 2016, the Oral Health 2020 Network and School Oral Health Learning Community launch was held in Crystal City, VA. The School Oral Health Learning Community involves school districts across the country including Los Angeles (CA), Clark County (NV), Chicago (IL), Houston (TX), Hillsborough and Miami-Dade (FL), New York City (NY), Montgomery (NC), and Allendale, Manning, Dillon, and Summerton (SC). The Learning Community is focused on the goal of improving the use of school oral health services by increasing the number of positive consents.

Let’s make oral health a key issue for health and education leaders and improve health equity for all children and adolescents.

Learn how to start the conversation

Download the “Daily 4” poster

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