The month of October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Everyone loves a clean mouth, and keeping your mouth clean on a regular basis is worth celebrating, not just for a day, but for an entire month. Fresh breath, strong teeth and healthy gums are all part of oral health and this month is dedicated to promoting healthy mouths all across the country.
The goal of National Dental Hygiene Month is to raise awareness of habits that promote a healthy smile and to make dental hygiene easy by focusing on the following:
BRUSH YOUR TEETH
According to MouthHealthy.org, the American Dental Association’s consumer website, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of the brush should fit the mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily.
There is a proper way to brush your teeth:
It’s important to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. What should you look for when buying a new toothbrush?
Flossing is an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums as it helps remove debris and plaque that collect between teeth while cleaning hard-to-reach tooth surfaces. The ADA recommends cleaning between your teeth once a day to remove plaque that is not removed by brushing. If not removed, plaque can eventually harden into tartar. Flossing also stimulates the gums and helps to reduce the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Follow this step-by-step guide to flawless the flossing of your teeth. The ideal time to floss is at the end of the day when you have finished eating and before bedtime. Going to bed with a clean mouth will help to keep the bacteria that causes cavities at bay.
Because teeth alone account for less than half of the mouth, rinsing can help eliminate biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot do. Rinsing often, along with brushing and flossing, may help reduce the chance of dental decay and infection. There are lots of mouthwash products to choose from. Which one is right for you?
Breath-freshening mouthwash, will neutralizes odor. Studies have shown that chlorine and zinc, the primary ingredients in these rinses, defuse foul-smelling Sulphur compounds produced by bacteria. Some products contain a germicide called cetylpyridinium, which has gum disease-fighting and antiplaque benefits. Plus, breath-freshening mouthwashes are easier on the taste buds and have lower alcohol contents. However, they aren’t as effective as antibacterial rinses in counteracting plaque and gingivitis.
An antibacterial formula, which fights bad breath, plaque, and gingivitis will fill the bill. Products that contain thymol, eucalyptol, methyl salicylate, and menthol are the only over-the-counter antibacterial mouthwashes to earn the ADA Seal of Acceptance for effectively reducing gum disease and plaque. Antibacterial formulas can reduce bacteria counts in the mouth by up to 75 percent.
You will need a prescription mouthwash that fights gingivitis-causing germs. Chlorhexidine, the active ingredient in prescription mouthwashes, has much stronger antibacterial properties than the ingredients in over-the-counter brands. These mouthwashes are the only ones approved for treating gum disease by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Chewing sugar-free gum is proven to be good for your oral health in numerous ways! The very action of chewing stimulates saliva, a natural defense against tooth decay, helping to fight cavities and washing away food particles. Studies have shown the benefits are best when chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating.
Regular dental exams can help prevent tooth loss. When dental problems are caught early, they are more easily corrected.
Gum disease starts with built-up plaque, and is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. As gum disease advances, plaque moves further down the tooth where it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to loosen and fall out. Luckily, the chance of this happening to you can be greatly reduced through regular dental exams and cleanings combined with good oral hygiene habits.
Contact our office online, or call (208) 546-0655 to make an appointment. Dr. Porter provides comprehensive treatment for your whole family. Conveniently located in Eagle, Idaho at 467 South Rivershore Lane, Premier Dentistry of Eagle is also accessible to patients in the surrounding communities of Star, Middleton, Meridian, Garden City, and Boise.
We all have a reason to celebrate. Living in the United States, we have the greatest access to oral health care in the world. Celebrate this month of National Dental Hygiene by practicing good oral hygiene at home and if you want to be included in the national spotlight of this celebration, flash your biggest, best smile, snap a selfie, and use #DentalHygieneMonth to post on social media!