National Dental Hygiene Month

September 20, 2018
National Health Education Week
October 10, 2018




”October is National Dental Hygiene Month, an effort to help raise awareness on the importance of good oral health,” announced Freeholder Director and Board of Health Liaison Gerry P. Little. “Everyone enjoys seeing smiling faces but there is some work involved and proper dental hygiene is a key.” Freeholder Director Little reminds us that “dental care for adults is crucial for overall good health.” “As such, in just the first nine months of 2018, the Ocean County Health Department has provided 133 dental education presentations to 3,373 residents of Ocean County and continues to offer presentations from early school age children to senior citizens,” concluded Freeholder Director Little.


“In 2018, the awareness month is focusing on four routines that can help people maintain healthy smiles: brush, floss, rinse and chew,” explains Daniel E. Regenye, Ocean County Health Department Public Health Coordinator. According to Regenye, “The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of the brush should fit the mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.”  Regenye continues: “The proper brushing technique is to:

  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
  • Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
  • To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several
    up-and-down strokes.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.”


“A few concerning conditions to be aware of, according to Regenye, are:


Gum Disease – If your home care routine of brushing and flossing has slipped and you have skipped your regular dental cleanings, bacterial plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. The plaque and tartar, if left untreated, may eventually cause irreparable damage to your jawbone and support structures, and could lead to tooth loss.


Oral Cancer – According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, men over the age of 40 have the greatest risk for oral cancer. Approximately 43,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, tongue or throat area, and the ACS estimates that about 7,000 people will die from these cancers. The use of tobacco products and alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer. Most oral cancers are first diagnosed by the dentist during a routine checkup.




Dental Fillings Break Down – Fillings have a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. However, they can last 20 years or longer. When the fillings in your mouth start to break down, food and bacteria can get underneath them and can cause decay deep in the tooth.

According to Brian E. Rumpf, Director of Administration and Program Development, “any community group or organization may contact the Ocean County Health Department to schedule a presentation or may visit the Ocean County Health Department’s website at or check out our new website at, to access and learn more about our Public Health is You Too! campaign to help equip you to take simple steps to improve your health and obtaining important resources for dental services.”