October is Dental Hygiene Month

  • Published
  • By Capt. Shirley Ye and Tech. Sgt. Katsiaryna Durant
  • 66th Medical Squadron Dental Clinic

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- As we approach Halloween, the 66th Medical Squadron encourages you and your family to make thoughtful choices regarding candy consumption, dental hygiene, and treats for trick-or-treaters.

In addition to Halloween, October is Dental Hygiene Month, a time to emphasize the importance of oral health. Dental Hygiene Month encourages individuals to take proactive steps to maintain healthy teeth and gums, such as the ones listed below.:

  1. Regular check-ups: Schedule dental check-ups to monitor your oral health and address any concerns. Dental professionals can provide guidance and preventive care to keep your smile radiant.
  2. Daily care: Practice daily oral hygiene routines, including brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing daily, and using American Dental Association-approved fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses.
  3. Education: Take time to educate yourself and your family about proper dental care techniques and the importance of oral health.

For Halloween this year, consider offering cavity-free alternatives to traditional candies. These options not only protect dental health but also promote good oral hygiene habits. Some ideas include: 

  1. Sugar-free gum: Sugar-free gum not only satisfies sweet cravings but also stimulates saliva production, helping to neutralize harmful acids in the mouth.
  2. Small toys: Toys such as miniature cans of Play-Doh® provide entertainment and creativity for children.
  3. Halloween-themed pencils/erasers: Halloween-themed stationery items like pencils and erasers can make learning fun..
  4. Small bottles of bubbles: Encourage outdoor play and reduce sugar intake by offering small bottles of bubbles to trick-or-treaters.
  5. Halloween stickers: Stickers with spooky designs are a hit with children.

For those who choose to include candy in their celebrations, chocolate is the preferred option. Chocolates have multiple advantages for dental health:

  1. Easy to chew: Chocolates are soft and easy to chew, minimizing the risk of tooth damage compared to hard candies.
  2. Faster dissolution: Chocolate dissolves off the tooth surface more quickly than sticky candies like jelly beans and taffy, reducing sugar exposure.
  3. Reduced tooth damage: Hard candies, such as lollipops, can pose a risk of cracking teeth, while chewy candies linger on teeth. Chocolates are a safer choice for dental health.

Halloween can be a fun and enjoyable time for all, and through also celebrating Dental Hygiene Month in October, everyone   can work on maintaining healthy smiles. By making informed choices about treats and prioritizing oral hygiene practices, can reduce their risks of cavities.

Personnel from the Dental Clinic and the 66th Medical Squadron wish everyone a safe and tooth-friendly Halloween while celebrating Dental Hygiene Month. Remember, your smile is worth protecting year-round!

For further information, contact the Dental Clinic at 781-225-6324 or visit https://hanscom.tricare.mil/Health-Services/Dental.