October is National Dental Hygiene Month External Site, and though dental health is important at any age, routine, quality care can make a big difference as an adult. A whopping 80 percent of Americans have at least one cavity by age 34, and more than $6 billion of productivity is lost annually External Site due to employees missing work for unplanned dental care. On top of that, adults with a chronic disease (like arthritis, heart disease or diabetes) may be at even higher risk of dental problems. Encourage your workforce to make dental health a priority for a lifetime of smiles.
The American Dental Hygienists Association External Site recommends the Daily 4 to keep teeth, gums and the mouth in tip-top shape:
- Brush twice per day. Use a soft-bristled brush, held at a 45-degree angle, for two minutes each day. And don’t forget the tongue! Brush it to remove bacteria, too.
- Floss regularly. The American Dental Association External Site recommends cleaning between your teeth once a day to remove plaque not reached by brushing.
- Rinse with mouthwash. Rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash removes biofilm and bacteria left behind by brushing.
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals. Clinical studies have shown External Site that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay External Site. This can help increase the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria.
For even more advice to share with your employees, check out these oral health tips External Site from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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