October is National Dental Hygiene Month and serves as a reminder to commit to a good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups. Our oral health can decline quickly if we aren’t careful about how we can for our teeth and gums, leading us to experience tooth decay, infection and even disease. Strictly following an oral hygiene routine will improve your dental health and help you avoid expensive and painful dental problems. Follow these tips during National Dental Hygiene Month to keep your oral health in tip-top shape!
How Tooth Decay Affects Oral Health
October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and its initiative is to help people everywhere to take care of their oral health by brushing and flossing their teeth each day and visiting the dentist regularly. Dental hygiene is an important subject because our mouths are constantly being attacked by bacteria from the foods we eat each day, and if we don’t establish good dental hygiene habits now, our future oral health will have to deal with the consequences. The main reason we encourage good dental hygiene practices is to combat the effects of tooth decay that runs rampant in our society. Tooth decay refers to the damage that our tooth enamel experiences when acid breaks down the sugar in our mouth, including sugar still on our teeth, leading to the formation of cavities. Cavities are most common in children but are often found in adults, especially those who eat sugary foods and drinks and don’t brush their teeth well. Most cases of tooth decay stem from the foods we eat that get stuck on our teeth for long periods of time, allowing acid to break them down and form decay-causing plaque. Brushing and flossing is essential to remove said plaque and keep decay at bay, but many people don’t brush long or well enough to remove the plaque from their mouths. For this reason, we are celebrating National Dental Hygiene month by reminding kids, teenagers and adults everywhere to take control of their oral health by brushing and flossing better and scheduling a dental checkup. These are the three main parts of good dental hygiene and, when adhered to, will help you avoid painful cavities and decay.
Pros of Brushing and Flossing
To combat the sticky plaque that loves to hang around in our mouths, daily brushing and flossing is essential. Brushing not only removes plaque from your mouth, but it also gives you fresh breath as an added bonus. However, most people don’t know how to brush or floss their teeth to get the best results. To begin, brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle in gentle, back-and-forth strokes. Make sure to brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth, and don’t forget to brush your tongue, as well. When scrubbing the inside of your teeth, turn your toothbrush vertically and brush in an up-and-down motion to remove stuck debris, especially if you have a permanent retainer. Brush along the gumline, as well, but be gentle so that you don’t damage the tissue there. After brushing, grab around 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle and index fingers. Pull one section of floss between two teeth and gently slide up and down to remove plaque. Curve the floss around each tooth to clean the entire tooth, and slide it below your gum line, as well, to remove debris that may have accumulated there. Try to use only clean sections of floss between each tooth, if you can, or get more if you run out of room. Both brushing and flossing are equally important when it comes to preventing tooth decay. Doing one without doing the other won’t provide sufficient protection that your teeth need to stay healthy. Make sure that you’re brushing AND flossing each day, even when you’re tired or busy.
Stay Up-To-Date With A Dental Checkup
While brushing and flossing your teeth are both extremely important, don’t forget to schedule your biannual dental checkups. A dental checkup isn’t just a routine cleaning; it involves an oral cancer screening, an evaluation of your bite, dental X-rays (when needed) and fillings when a cavity is present. Most dental checkups include oral hygiene instructions and a thorough evaluation of your teeth with high-tech tools and technology to ensure that your oral health needs are met. Preventative care is especially important for kids as they are most vulnerable to tooth decay, so a dental checkup for them will typically involve applying dental sealants to prevent decay, placing tooth-colored fillings on cavity-ridden teeth, performing an orthodontic evaluation and administering fluoride treatments. Adults can receive dental sealants and fluoride treatments when requested, and if a tooth needs to be removed, this can be done during the checkup, as well. Dental checkups sometimes have a bad reputation for patients who don’t brush or floss well, who often complain of bleeding gums and swelling after dental work. To avoid this during your appointment, it’s important that you are brushing and flossing well at home, not just the hour before your checkup. When you do this, you’re only doing yourself a disservice by putting your oral health needs on the back burner. Commit yourself today to brush and floss your teeth each day so that your dental checkups can be successful and painless.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy With Our Help!
Our team at Dr. Evanson’s office cares about your oral health and happiness, and we use only the best tools and equipment to care for your teeth. Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month by scheduling your next dental checkup at (720) 409-0008. Your teeth deserve to be taken care of, so call today to make sure that your oral health is on the right track!Leave a reply →