October is National Dental Hygiene Month! This month, we’re feeling especially thankful for our hardworking dental hygienists and are joining the dental industry to help promote the importance of good oral health.
This year, the dental industry is focusing on four techniques that can help people maintain healthy smiles: brush, floss, rinse and chew.
- Brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a soft-bristled brush. Ensure that the size and shape of your toothbrush allows you to reach all areas of your mouth. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue! This helps remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh. According to the American Dental Association, you should replace your toothbrush every 3 -4 months.
- Flossing should be a daily habit. Recently, reports have questioned the benefits of cleaning between your teeth, but our supported doctors can assure you that it is essential to taking care of your gums and teeth. Simply brushing does not remove plaque found between your teeth. It’s not necessary to floss every time you brush, however. Once a day is sufficient.
- Teeth alone account for less than half of the mouth, so rinsing with mouthwash helps eliminate bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot. There are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Essentially, cosmetic mouthwash has temporary benefits and controls bad breath. Therapeutic mouthwash has active ingredients that help control or reduce bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, tooth decay and infection.
- Studies suggest that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating improves oral health. They say it increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances, according to MouthHealthy.org
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