Oral hygiene recommendations in the age of Dr. Google: An evidence-based approach for dental professionals

This course will review current recommendations for oral home care, discuss strategies to deliver person-centered oral hygiene instructions for patients based upon risks for oral diseases, and review the current evidence regarding oral hygiene practices and/or products.

3 CE Credits

This course is now closed. We apologize for any inconvenience.

A peer-reviewed course written by Maria L. Geisinger, DDS, MS


From charcoal toothpaste to oil pulling to “Flossgate,” recent controversies regarding ideal oral hygiene in the lay media have left many of our patients with questions about the best way to take care of their teeth at home. While dental associations, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Surgeon General agree on the importance of proper self-delivered oral hygiene,1-3 there continues to be confusion in the lay media and the public with regard to the role of patient-administered oral hygiene for the prevention of oral diseases. Current recommendations include brushing for two minutes twice daily and cleaning between teeth to maintain a healthy mouth and smile.4 Furthermore, customization of oral hygiene recommendations for patients based upon their risk profiles allows for optimal outcomes for disease prevention. It is well established that there are over 700 identified species of bacteria and up to 1,500 putative pathologic microorganisms5-7 found in dental plaque biofilms. Many of these organisms as well as other factors including bacterial nutrients, food debris, molecules that facilitate bacterial adhesion and invasion, and other extrinsic factors in the environment and the body’s own immune response contribute to diseases of the teeth and gingival tissues. This course will review current recommendations for oral home care, discuss strategies to deliver person-centered oral hygiene instructions for patients based upon risks for oral diseases, and review the current evidence regarding oral hygiene practices and/or products.

Educational objectives

At the conclusion of this educational activity, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the risks and benefits of controversial oral hygiene practices and/or products
  • List the optimal strategies and rationale for oral hygiene, including toothbrushing, interdental cleaning, and use of dentifrices and mouth rinses
  • Develop home-care recommendations that focus on evidence-based strategies for oral health and emphasize individualized patient care recommendations based upon patient needs
  • Discuss the importance of preventive strategies for oral diseases including maintaining good oral hygiene in order to promote oral and overall well-being with a wide range of patients and interdisciplinary colleagues

Maria L. Geisinger, DDS, MS, is a professor and director of advanced education in periodontology in the Department of Periodontology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Dentistry. Dr. Geisinger received her BS in biology from Duke University, her DDS from Columbia University School of Dental Medicine, and her MS and Certificate in Periodontology and Implantology from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Dr. Geisinger is a diplomate in the American Board of Periodontology. She has served as the president of the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation and on multiple national and regional organized dentistry committees. She currently serves as chair of the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs and as a member of the American Academy of Periodontology’s Board of Trustees. She has authored over 45 peer-reviewed publications and her research interests include periodontal and systemic disease interaction, implant dentistry in the periodontally compromised dentition, and novel treatment strategies for oral soft- and hard-tissue growth. She lectures nationally and internationally on topics in periodontology and oral health care.

Image credit: © One Photo | Dreamstime.com
Quick Access Code: 21000

Not Enrolled
This course is currently closed$39.00

Course Includes

  • 12 Lessons
  • 1 Test
  • Course Certificate
  • CE credit(s): 3

    Course Type: Written

    Published Date: March 2021

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

    CE planner disclosure: Laura Winfield, Endeavor Business Media dental group CE coordinator, neither has a leadership nor commercial interest with the products or services discussed in this educational activity. Ms. Winfield can be reached at lwinfield@endeavorb2b.com.

    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

    Image authenticity statement: The images in this educational activity have not been altered.

    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

    Known benefits and limitations of the data: The information presented in this educational activity is derived from the data and information contained in the reference section.

    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

    Cancellation and refund policy: Any participant who is not 100% satisfied with this course can request a full refund by contacting Endeavor Business Media in writing.

    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-21000. Expires February 2024. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”


    Endeavor Business Media is a nationally approved PACE program provider for FAGD/MAGD credit.
    Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement.
    11/1/2022 to 10/31/2024.
    Provider ID# 320452
    AGD code: 490


    Endeavor Business Media is designated as an approved Provider by the American Academy of Dental Hygiene, Inc. #AADHPNW (January 1, 2022–December 31, 2024). Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial Board of Dentistry. Licensee should maintain this document in the event of an audit. AADH code:


    Endeavor Business Media is an ADA CERP–recognized provider.

    ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of dental continuing education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

    Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to CERP at ada.org/goto/cerp.



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