ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Say Cheese! Standards Promote Oral Health during National Dental Hygiene Month

New York, Oct 01, 2009

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, promoting oral health practices for strong teeth and happy smiles through outreach efforts and promotional materials. Proper dental hygiene is supported all year long by International and American National Standards that guide healthy habits at all ages.

Proper dental hygiene begins at home. The American Dental Association (ADA), a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), recommends that all children and adults brush their teeth twice a day. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become frayed.

International Standards are in place to address requirements for effective toothbrushes. IEC 60335-2-52 Ed. 3.1 b:2008, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-52: Particular requirements for oral hygiene appliances, deals with the safety of electric oral hygiene appliances used in the home. Toothbrushes and oral irrigators are two examples of appliances covered by the document.

IEC 60335-2-52 was developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. Secretariat duties for TC 61 are performed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an ANSI member and audited designator. UL also serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to TC 61, carrying U.S. positions forward to the committee.

For those who use a simple non-electric toothbrush, another International Standard provides guidance for manual toothbrushes. ISO 20126:2005, Dentistry -- Manual toothbrushes -- General requirements and test methods, was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) TC 106, Dentistry, Subcommittee (SC) 7, Oral Care Products. The ADA serves as the ANSI-accredited Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to ISO TC 106/SC 1.

It’s also imperative to visit a dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams. Dentists and hygienists rely on disposable gloves to work on their patients’ teeth in a sanitary way. The ADA has developed several American National Standards for dentistry gloves:

In the dentist’s chair and in the privacy of the home, dental hygiene is an important element of staying healthy and happy. With standards to support proper hygiene habits, strong teeth can be seen in wide smiles nationwide.

For more information on National Dental Hygiene Month, visit the American Dental Hygienists’ Association site.

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