National Dental Hygienist Week 2015 – Day – Month
Every year, the month of April is celebrated as the Oral Health Month across the country and it is even more special for dental hygienists what with the celebration of Nation Dental Hygienist Week (April 5-11) as a part of the events lined up for the month. This is an annual event sponsored by CDHA or the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association which is marked by a host of events and activities including contests, classroom presentations, community outreach programs, displays in malls, tours of dental offices, and a lot of other creatively planned events in which dental hygienists from all parts of the country participate in great numbers.
The purpose behind the celebration is to highlight the importance of keeping good oral health and making the people aware of the important role played by dental professionals in maintaining their dental health. The theme of the week is Oral Health for Total Health and it puts focus on the impact of oral health on a person’s overall health.
How is National Dental Hygienist Week Celebrated?
The week is celebrated by dental clinics by making people aware of the importance of oral hygiene in creative and interesting ways that leave a lasting impression on them and encourages them to be more conscious about their oral health. The idea is not to plan too many events in haste, but to involve people in the community in a way that makes them recognize the contributions of a dental hygienist. General public can take part in the celebrations by participating in various events and activities organized by their local dental offices. Adults can these events as an opportunity to teach their children the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and taking them for an educational visit to a nearby dental clinic.
Celebrations in dental offices
Dental clinics use NDHW promotional material to create awareness about dental health and the role of dental hygienists in keeping the people in the community free of oral disorders. From labeling out-going mail with NDHW stickers, downloading and using NDHW screen saver for all computers, operatory screens or monitors, to playing NDHW videos in clinic waiting room, dental offices go all out to publicize the event. The clinics are decorated with educational material that gives out information both about the Hygienist Week and on maintaining oral health.
Visitors to the clinic are involved in the week-long celebrations by welcoming them with “Happy Dental Hygienist Week” and giving out NDHW stickers, bookmarks, or other small stationery items. Young patients are encouraged to enter the NDHW coloring contest or any other contests planned by the clinic itself and given out NDHW Smile certificates for wearing the healthiest or brightest smiles.
Many dental clinics have theme-based days in the week or design their own Oral Health Month or NDHW t-shirts. Staff comes dressed in the color purple which is associated with dental hygiene since 1897, when lilac was chosen as the emblem representing National Association of Dental Faculties.
Celebrations in the community
NDHW can be celebrated within the community by holding events in community centers, schools, libraries, senior care facilities, etc. Local dental clinics can take initiative in organizing these events. To encourage participation from adults and kids alike, an element of fun should be included in the calendar of events. The NDHW website lists a few such events like organizing a tooth fairy-themed day at clinics, or holding mock demo of stuffed animals brought by kids getting dental health check-up.
Celebrations in Schools
Presentations in schools by dental hygienists, handing out activity and fact sheets regarding oral health care issues of children to teachers or sent to parents through school, etc. are some great ways to celebrate NDHW in schools. School authorities can contribute towards healthy eating to maintain oral health by organizing sugar-free day in school, or organizing a snack-raid and discussing what constitutes healthy snacking. Presentations on a career in dentistry can also be given to senior students where dentists can be invited to share their experiences and answer any queries by students.