You probably already know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and everyone knows that this is the month of Halloween. However, you probably didn’t know that October is also National Dental Hygiene Month. First established in 2009 by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), this month is dedicated to thanking dental hygienists for their hard work, and promoting good oral health practices. In honor of the occasion, we’re focusing today’s blog on the four routines that can help you keep your teeth clean and strong. The next time you see your favorite dental hygienist, let them know how much you appreciate them!
According to MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a soft-bristled brush. The proper brushing technique is to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums; gently move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes; and brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes. Finally, brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
Flossing between your teeth is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums. The ADA recommends flossing at least once a day to remove the plaque that cannot be removed by brushing. This plaque can eventually harden into calculus or tartar, which can be very difficult to scrape off, and can cause tooth decay. If you do not remove plaque the easy way when it’s soft, your Hickory NC dentist will have to remove it the hard way—so it’s best to take care of it early!
Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash can help eliminate biofilm and bacteria that cause plaque and tartar. This in turn may help reduce the chance of dental decay and infection. Clinical studies have also shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. The chewing of sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, and releases disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth.
Viewmont Family Dentistry is a Hickory NC general dentist specializing in crowns, tooth whitening, root canals, and tooth implants. To schedule an appointment at our Hickory NC dentist office, click here. We can’t wait to help you achieve a happy, healthy smile!