October is National Dental Hygiene Month.
The focus on the month-long campaign is to celebrate the work dental hygienists do and raise awareness that a healthy mouth can equal a healthy body.
Research shows not taking care of your teeth can impact your heart health, memory or even blood pressure. Click here to see more facts.
Newswatch 16’s Ryan Leckey highlighted National Dental Hygiene Month on Wednesday from the Benco Dental Clinic at Luzerne County Community College.
The dental clinic in Nanticoke trains future dental hygienists from LCCC. The place offers everything from cleanings to x-rays for the community at a discounted rate. Click here to learn more about the clinic in Luzerne County.
To explain how taking care of your teeth could improve your overall health, Dr. Quinn Dufurrena, United Concordia's Chief Dental Officer, joined Ryan on Wednesday.
United Concordia is based in Harrisburg and has been around for 45 years.
United Concordia is also a corporate sponsor of WNEP's Ryan's Run 9, a charity campaign aimed at helping kids and adults with disabilities served by Allied Services. Head here to learn more.
More facts on Dental Hygiene Month courtesy of United Concordia:
WHY IS YOUR DENTAL HEALTH IMPORTANT?
- Research suggests that there may be a relationship between regular dental care and improved overall health and wellness.
- A healthy body begins with a healthy mouth. Many diseases can be diagnosed orally, for example:
- Heart Disease
- Even inflammation can impact other health conditions.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
- Make the most of your benefits and have regular check-ups.
- Many people who are covered by dental insurance don’t visit the dentist regularly. United Concordia encourages members to use their dental benefits, not only because it’s good for their teeth and gums, but also because it can help them optimize their overall health.
- Practice good oral hygiene.
- Good oral hygiene is key to preventing tooth decay and gum disease. More than 70% of adults will have gum disease at some point. The inflammation can impact other health conditions.
TOYS FOR TREATS
- For the last few years, United Concordia has run a program called Toys for Treats. They provide dental offices with gift cards that they can give to their young patients in exchange for a pound of Halloween candy. Many of those dentists are donating the candy they collect to our troops overseas. Ask if your dentist is participating.
CHOMPER CHUMS APP
- Download the free Chomper Chums app in the App Store to help your kids learn better oral health, for example, proper brushing technique. Click here for a closer look!
GENERAL DENTISTRY TIPS
- Find a toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. The American Dental Association recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush, as hard bristles can damage your teeth and gums.
- Change your toothbrush every three to four months, and definitely if you’ve been sick. Set an alert on your phone to remind you when it’s time for a new toothbrush.
- Make sure you clean between your teeth. Flossing helps you reach areas your toothbrush can’t reach, such as below your gum line. Use enough floss to make sure you’re always using a clean section.
Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is one of your body’s most reliable defenses against tooth decay and gum disease. Dry mouths breed harmful bacteria.