Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? Even though you may be more focused on getting your Halloween costume ready and pulling your favorite autumn sweaters out of storage, it is worthwhile to take some time to think of your smile. Even if you are sure to brush twice a day, there still may be other ways that you can improve the health of your smile. Continue reading to learn some oral hygiene tips from your dentist.
If you aren’t doing a good job brushing your teeth, this is almost as bad as not brushing at all. You need to take your time and move the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions in order to remove plaque. If this isn’t cleaned away, it can harden into tartar. This can cause gingivitis and can only be removed during a professional cleaning at the dental office.
Floss Every Day
You know that flossing once a day is important, but many people still neglect to take this step. This is a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and lower inflammation in the area. If you find flossing difficult due to issues like arthritis, look for ready-to-use dental flossers.
Using a mouth rinse helps in three different ways. It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, cleans hard to reach areas, and remineralizes the teeth. This is not a replacement for regular brushing and flossing, but it can make a great addition to your oral hygiene routine.
Clean Your Tongue
Buildup of plaque and food debris on the tongue can cause both bad breath and other oral health issues. When you brush your teeth, don’t forget to give your tongue a scrub too. You can do this with your toothbrush, or you could invest in an inexpensive tool called a tongue scraper.
This natural mineral is a leading defense against tooth decay. It works by fighting against germs and providing a protective barrier for your teeth. When choosing a new toothpaste, the most important thing to look for is fluoride.
Water is necessary for your entire body to function, and your smile is no exception. When you drink water after meals, you are helping to wash away food debris and reduce the negative effects of acid in the mouth.
Limit Sugary Foods
Sugar converts to acid in the mouth which erodes the enamel of your teeth. This is what will eventually cause you to develop cavities. You should also be aware of acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits, tea, and coffee. Having an occasional sugary treat doesn’t usually hurt, but you should try to limit them as much as you can.
Eat Healthy Snacks
Instead of having starchy snacks, like potato chips, between meals, reach for high fiber fruits and vegetables. Having an apple, carrots, celery, or a pear is great for stimulating saliva production in the mouth.
See Your Dentist
Remember to see your dentist every six months for regular cleanings and checkups. By having your teeth cleaned professionally and catching issues early on, you can avoid all sorts of dental issues in the future.
This October, don’t forget about your teeth. By following these oral hygiene tips, you will be on a path towards a healthy smile.
About the Author
Dr. Dinesh Patel earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the State University at Buffalo and completed his post-graduate general dentistry residency at the Erie County Medical Center in Buffalo. For more information on maintaining a healthy smile or to schedule an appointment at his office in Waterford, PA, visit his website or call (814) 923-4510.