October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and there is no better time of the year to brush up—no pun intended—on your dental hygiene skills, tips and tricks. If you want a healthy, happy smile, consider the following tips that will keep your smile bright and healthy all year long.
Essential Tips for National Dental Hygiene Month
Remember, good dental hygiene is important all year round! Following these tips in October and the other 11 months of the year will help keep your teeth in top shape.
Tip #1: Brush every surface of your teeth
When most people brush their teeth, they are not actually practicing good brushing techniques. In order to properly brush your teeth, you need to make sure your toothbrush is placed at a 45-degree angle to your gums and that you clean every surface of the teeth with the brush. This includes the chewing surfaces, the front, the back, and when applicable, the sides. Plaque can easily build up in the back of your teeth where most people forget to brush, so be sure to get every side!
Tip #2: Mitigate cavity-causing foods by rinsing
October is a time of the year when many people love to crunch down on hard candies, stick a sweet sucker in their mouth, and enjoy some chewy, gooey chocolate and other candy. While it’s okay to treat yourself now and then to these foods, they are high in sugar and other ingredients that cause cavities and can erode your tooth enamel. To help mitigate the damage, rinse your mouth out with water after consuming candy–but DON’T brush your teeth right after eating candy, as this brushes sugar and acid right into your enamel. A simple rinse can help keep the sugar at bay, and don’t forget to brush your teeth a few hours later to take care of the rest.
Tip #3: Floss every day
Flossing is important for removing food particles and bacteria from in between your teeth, but many people forget that flossing is a daily activity! Always floss at least once a day, and make sure that you are using a back and forth flossing motion that removes food particles; don’t simply “click” the floss down into your tooth and call it a day. You need to move the floss up and down and side to side to properly scrape your teeth and gum line.
Tip #4: See your dentist
Remember to regularly see your dentist for dental cleanings and check-ups, as your dentist can be the front line of defense against developing cavities, gum diseases and other problems with your oral hygiene. A regular visit will help your dental team keep an eye on any potential problems, while also ensuring that you get a regular cleaning to keep plaque, cavities and gum disease at bay.
Remember: your dental hygiene is important! During this National Dental Hygiene month, make sure you (and your family!) are practicing solid dental hygiene tips in order to keep your teeth happy and healthy all year long.