October is National Dental Hygiene Month! Good oral health is a lot more important than most think, so this month’s goal is to raise awareness about the significance of positive oral hygiene. This year’s month of awareness focuses on four routines that can help keep your smile looking and feeling great. Read on to learn what these four simple routines are to help maintain good oral dental hygiene in Ephrata as well as the important work that dental hygienists do to keep us all healthy and happy.
Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each session using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using a brush with softer bristles will make sure you aren’t harming your teeth by scraping at the enamel.
What kind of brush you use matters as well. Pick your toothbrush based on the size and shape of the head. Does it fit in your mouth and reach all areas of your smile easily? Keep this in mind the next time you’re choosing a brush.
Lastly, make sure you’re brushing correctly. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle on the gumline to clean bacteria and plaque. Once you’ve brushed all the surfaces of your teeth and gumline, don’t forget to brush your tongue! The tongue can be home to leftover bacteria.
Clean in between your teeth once a day to remove any plaque or food debris that can’t be reached by your toothbrush. Plaque that stays in between your teeth can eventually form into tartar, which puts you at risk for dental issues like gum disease.
Since your teeth only account for less than one half of your mouth, rinses and mouthwash can help get rid of bacteria that brushing and flossing simply can’t. Rinsing along with your regular brushing and flossing routine can reduce your chance of tooth decay and infection. But, according to the American Dental Association, avoid rinses with alcohol as they may hurt you more than help.
Last but not least, recent studies have shown chewing sugar-free gum is good for you! It’s not so much the gum itself, but gum increases saliva flow which washes away food debris and bacteria naturally. Chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating to neutralize acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
In addition to these four routines you should be using to keep your mouth healthy, regular dental visits are the best way to stay on top of your oral health. Dental hygienists are able to clean your teeth more effectively as they have special tools and can reach places in your mouth that you couldn’t. During National Dental Hygiene Month, remember to thank your local hygienist for all the work they do to keep you healthy.
Now that you know how to maintain proper oral hygiene, you can celebrate this month of awareness the right way! Talk to your dentist in Ephrata about your healthcare routine and make sure you have your next appointment scheduled.
About the Practice
At Ephrata Family Dentistry, we have a team of 3 highly-trained dentists who each bring different backgrounds and specialties to the practice. They provide a variety of dental treatments for their patients as well as advice on good oral healthcare. They can be contacted through their website or by phone at (717) 733-1088 for any questions.