It’s National Dental Hygienists Week and the focus is on educating Canadians about the importance of maintaining good oral health practices.

NDHW runs from April 5th  to 11th and is part of Oral Health Month.

Almost 27,000 dental hygienists help Canadians maintain their mouths and the theme this year is 'Oral Health for Total Health'.

Hygienists say people should visit them at least every six months to get rid of plaque and bacteria.

They say what happens in our mouths can have an impact on other parts of our body.

“The bugs in your mouth do go into your blood stream and affect your heart and kidneys or lungs,  wherever there is a little bit of an issue, if it’s all clean, no it won't,” said Charlotte Cadrain.

Cadrain is an independent registered dental hygienist and started working out of her home about three years ago.

“If we took mature plaque from in between your teeth, looked under a microscope, there’d be 600 different kinds of bacteria. So some will cause decay, some will cause gum disease and some are kind of both,” she said.

She has about 85 clients and has all the tools to do the job including sterilization equipment and has a few words of advice for maintaining healthy teeth.

“Brush, floss, rinse with a good rinse, eat a healthy diet, quit if you smoke and see your dental hygienist regularly.”

Brenda Chorney is Cadrain’s client and says she likes the convenience and the fact that she doesn’t have to pay for parking.

“When I go to the dentist regularly and he says wow your teeth look great, part of it is me flossing, but she’s doing a good job,” she said.

There are about 30 independent registered dental hygienists in the city who also work from home.

Canada’s Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, says “Canadians are encouraged to celebrate NDHW by making oral hygiene a priority in their daily life,” and says the week recognizes the important role hygienists play as partners in prevention.

For more on National Dental Hygienists Week, click HERE.

(With files from Kevin Fleming)