October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and in honor of this important observance, we are providing you with some essential tips to maintain good dental hygiene. The American Dental Hygienist Association (ADHA) opened the first dental hygiene school in 1913 and has been promoting National Dental Hygiene Month since 2009. Good dental hygiene is critical for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, and can prevent a number of dental problems down the road. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of dental hygiene and provide you with a list of tips to help you keep your smile healthy!
National Dental Hygiene Month in October is important for three main reasons:
- It encourages oral health: National Dental Hygiene Month is the perfect time to focus on your oral health and get into good habits that will last a lifetime. This month is also a great opportunity to learn more about taking care of your teeth and gums. The ADHA provides resources on their website that can help you brush up on your oral health knowledge.
- It celebrates dental hygienists: National Dental Hygiene Month is also a time to celebrate the hard-working men and women who dedicate their lives to keeping our smiles healthy! Dental hygienists play a vital role in oral health care, and we are grateful for all they do.
- It is an excuse for a new toothbrush: What better excuse do you need to buy a new toothbrush than National Dental Hygiene Month? This is the perfect time to invest in a good quality toothbrush that will last you for months (or even years!) to come.
Dental Hygiene Tips
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of National Dental Hygiene Month, let’s move on to some essential tips for keeping your smile healthy.
Start with the Basics (Brushing and Flossing):
This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning because it is so important! Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is the best way to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and along your gums. Be sure to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste that contains fluoride. To get the best results, it is also recommended to floss at night before you brush your teeth. This removes debris from between your teeth and allows the fluoride from your toothpaste to get into those hard to reach areas.
Schedule Dental Exams & Cleanings:
It’s important to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. On average, you should see your dentist at least once every six months, however some people may benefit from more frequent appointments. During these appointments, your dentist will be able to identify any potential problems and provide treatment if necessary. These appointments also provide an opportunity to have your teeth professionally cleaned by a dental hygienist. Professional teeth cleanings are important because they can remove both plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, whereas brushing and flossing can only remove plaque. Most dental insurance plans cover two exams and cleanings per year, so be sure to take advantage of this benefit!
Maintain Your Toothbrush:
Another important hygiene tip is making sure your dental supplies are in good condition. You should replace your toothbrush every three months (or sooner if you have been sick). Replacing your toothbrush regularly prevents excess bacteria from accumulating in the bristles. It also ensures that your toothbrush is still able to effectively remove plaque from the surface of your teeth. In addition to replacing your toothbrush regularly, you should also store it in a clean, dry place to prevent the growth of bacteria.
Watch Your Diet:
What you eat can also have a big impact on your oral health. Be sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet, and limit sugary drinks and snacks. The bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay and gum disease actually feed on sugars from the foods you eat, so decreasing your sugar intake can decrease your risk of developing these problems. Conversely, fruits and vegetables often have a higher water content, which helps to keep your mouth clean and limits the growth of bacteria. Some fruits and vegetables can even whiten your teeth. Overall, eating a balanced diet will help keep your teeth and gums healthy!
Drink Plenty of Water:
Water is essential for good oral health. It helps rinse away food and debris, and many drinking water sources also contain fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay. It also decreases acidity in the mouth and helps to regulate the pH level of your saliva. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your mouth healthy!
Take Necessary Precautions (Wear Mouth Guards):
If you play sports or participate in other activities that could put your teeth at risk, be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect your teeth. Oftentimes, this consists of wearing a mouth guard. Mouth guards can help protect your teeth from being damaged or knocked out. If you grind your teeth, you may also want to consider wearing a special type of mouth guard known as a night guard.
Avoid Unnecessary Risks:
There are a number of things you can do to avoid unnecessary risks to your oral health. For example, don’t smoke or use tobacco products, and avoid excessive alcohol consumption. These habits can lead to a number of dental problems, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. You can also decrease your risk of dental problems by avoiding damaging behaviors such as nail biting, chewing on ice, or using your teeth as tools.
In this blog post, we discussed the importance of National Dental Hygiene Month and provided a list of tips for keeping your smile healthy. By following these tips, you can help keep your smile healthy and prevent dental problems down the road. Be sure to practice good dental hygiene habits every day, and visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. National Dental Hygiene Month is the perfect time to focus on your oral health, so take advantage of this opportunity to improve your smile! If you have any questions about dental hygiene or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today. We are always happy to help!