Dental Hygienists Take Oral Health to Heart

February is Heart Month in Canada and a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the risks of heart disease and stroke and the importance of making better lifestyle choices for optimal health.  Dental hygienists—your partners in prevention—are strong supporters of this public education campaign and remind Canadians not to overlook their oral health when seeking to improve their physical well-being. 

As Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) President Mary Bertone explains, “There are millions of bacteria in the mouth.  Ignoring oral health routines can lead to inflammation, causing these bacteria to grow and spread at alarming rates, even into the bloodstream.”  Research suggests that poor oral health may increase your risk for cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death for Canadian men and women.  While researchers continue to investigate the relationship between oral and cardiovascular health, Canadians can act now to reduce their chances of developing serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses.  Here are five simple steps to better oral health:

1. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

2. Floss between the teeth and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily.

3. Eat healthy foods and avoid sugary treats.

4. Eliminate tobacco use.

5. Visit your dental hygienist regularly.  

Dental hygienists are primary health care providers who educate and empower Canadians to embrace oral health for better overall health and well-being. They urge all Canadians to take oral health to heart this February and throughout the year.

Serving the profession since 1963, CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 26,800 registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 17,000 individual members including dental hygienists and students. Dental hygiene is the 6th largest registered health profession in Canada with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit:

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