Do you know what October is besides pumpkin spice everything, Uggs, and flannels? October is also National Dental Hygiene Month, which is also the perfect time to thank your hygienist for your brilliant and bright smile! While your hygienist and dentist work hard to make sure your smile is great, you also need to take some responsibility. Let’s go back to the basics and talk about the “Daily 4” to help you do a better job taking care of your oral health on your own at home.
I know this should be an obvious tip but you’d be surprised at how many people gloss over this or don’t do a thorough job of brushing their teeth every day. Brush your teeth for 2 minutes. If you need help with this, set a timer, play a favorite song in the background, etc. You should also brush your teeth two times per day for optimal results. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle pointed towards your gums and make sure you’re reaching all of the surfaces of your teeth. Also make sure you’re brushing your tongue to remove all of the bacteria in your mouth and to have fresh breath. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner when the bristles get bent and soften.
The American Dental Association recommends that everyone floss twice a day, although you can get by with flossing once a day and still maintaining good oral health. Ideally you should floss before you brush your teeth so that when you brush your teeth, the toothpaste and toothbrush have a better chance at getting in between your teeth. Make sure you add flossing to your daily routine to keep up with good dental hygiene.
Be sure to rinse out your mouth with mouthwash to help prevent gum disease. Rinsing with mouthwash will kill the overflow of plaque and gingivitis germs that brushing and flossing don’t reach. Don’t get confused; mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing but rather an extra tool to help you achieve good oral health.
I know many of you may be surprised by this one, but yes, we’re telling you to chew – sugar free gum. Chewing sugar free gum actually has some great benefits to the state of your oral health. It increases the flow of saliva which then reduces the amount of plaque while strengthening the teeth and reducing tooth decay. This is probably the easiest step you can take towards better dental hygiene because it takes no effort and you can do this (mostly) anywhere and anytime.
The staff here at Charmoy Dental encourages you to take these 4 simple steps to improve dental hygiene not only this month, but every month. Has it been 6 months since your last dental appointment? If yes, please give our office a call at (973) 584-0008 to set up your next appointment to a healthier you!