September 16, 2019
Essential Tips to Keep in Mind During National Dental Hygiene Month
During the month of September, you’re probably thinking about plans for upcoming holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. With these holidays comes many foods that you may not normally eat, especially ones high in sugar content. Prior to these holidays, it’s important that you celebrate one that’s happening in September: National Dental Hygiene Month. Maintaining oral care is crucial as you enter the fall and winter seasons, so keep these tips for dental hygiene in mind going forward.
Perfect Your Oral Care Routine
While you may not think about it often, it’s very important that you have the right oral care routine. If the last thing you want to have happen is your dentist telling you that there’s a new cavity in your smile, keep these steps in mind going forward:
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums when brushing.
- Move the brush in a small circular motion.
- Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean teeth.
- Remember to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth as well as the chewing surfaces. Use several up-and-down strokes to reach the back surfaces of teeth.
- Remove bacteria from your tongue to keep your breath fresh.
- Use about a foot and a half of floss so you can wrap it around your two index fingers.
- Gently slide the floss in between your teeth, making sure not to snap the floss in the process.
- Always use fluoridated toothpaste to clean teeth.
Chew Sugar-Free Chewing Gum Over Eating Snacks
When you’re eating snacks throughout the day, it can actually be more harmful than eating a sugar-filled item in one sitting. For example, eating snack-sized candy bars for several hours can actually be more damaging for teeth than eating a single slice of cake after a meal, mainly because your teeth are exposed to sugars for longer. This gives oral bacteria time to develop plaque on teeth, which causes cavities.
Instead, chew on sugar-free chewing gum to keep your mind off snacking. Not only does this distract and prevent you from eating sugary snacks throughout the day, but it keeps the mouth hydrated and saliva production high. We’ll discuss why this is important next.
Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
Saliva is responsible for many things, but one of the most important functions is keeping the mouth moist. Keep in mind that people with dry mouth are more likely to suffer from chronic tooth decay. This is because saliva actively washes away food debris, plaque, and bacteria. It also works to reduce your risk for plaque production overall. This is why dentists often recommend that you drink water and only water with meals as well as throughout the day.
Have you scheduled your next dental checkup and cleaning yet? If not, there’s no better time than now; give your dentist a call today to schedule an appointment!
About Dix Hills Family Dentistry
Whether you’re visiting Dix Hills Family Dentistry by yourself or with the whole family, Dr. Raj Gaur and Dr. Shubha Soni-Gaur can teach you the best oral care techniques to maintain in between your dental visits. To schedule your next preventive cleaning or checkup, you can contact them through their website.
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