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October is National Dental Hygiene Month

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Autumn is here and while many are thinking of candy corn and football, dental professionals are advocating October's National Dental Hygiene Month.

For the past five years the American Dental Hygiene Association has co-sponsored this event. This year's focus is maintaining oral health while leading a busy, active lifestyle.

A good oral hygiene routine can greatly benefit not just your teeth but also your overall health. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits can help prevent gingivitis and periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious infection of the gums that causes deterioration of the bone and tissue that hold teeth in place. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and can increase chances of heart attack or stroke.

All active duty members have a responsibility to maintain good oral health, as it affects overall medical readiness. Poor oral hygiene or problems left untreated can cause a member to be placed in dental readiness class 3. This means a dental emergency can occur within 12 months and consequently the member is no longer worldwide qualified to deploy.

The staff at the Peterson Dental Clinic offer these tips to help kick off your season right.
-Brush for two minutes, two times a day with a fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss daily.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouth wash without high alcohol content.

Another thing to remember is that tooth loss is more prevalent during sports season. This is why wearing a mouth guard while participating in contact sports is important. Mouth guards are available for purchase at many retail stores. Custom mouth guards are available to active duty members, by appointment, at the dental clinic. Hours of operation for the Peterson Clinic are 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. For all appointments call 556-1333, for after hour emergencies call the appointment line at 524-CARE (2273). The Schriever Dental Clinic hours of operation are 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday- Friday. For appointments at the Schriever clinic call 567-4455.

Enjoy the season and remember to take care of your smile.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui