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National Dental Hygiene Month

woman brushing her teeth

What is your favorite month of the year? For many dental hygienists, it’s October! On first thought, you might think that dental hygienists would hate this month. After all, more people are eating candy because of Halloween. However, the reason they love this month is because it’s National Dental Hygiene Month.

Now, you may be asking, “What is National Dental Hygiene Month?” This is a national event that takes place every October. The goal is to remind people about the importance of good dental hygiene. Many dental professionals use it as a time to share tips and tricks for keeping your mouth happy and healthy.

Let’s take a few moments to discuss ways that you can improve your oral hygiene routine. Keep in mind, however, that there is only so much you can do from home. Even when using these tips, it’s still important to schedule regular dental checkups with your Virginia dentist.

How to Improve Your Oral Health

Good oral health starts at home. While it’s still crucial that you visit the dentist, the real work is done every day from your home. To improve your oral health, you have to come up with a solid dental care routine that you do daily. Here are a few things that you can add to your routine to achieve that.

Start Brushing Twice a Day

If you are not brushing your teeth twice a day, then this October is a good time to start! Brushing your teeth twice a day is a fantastic way to keep both your teeth and gums healthy. The best course of action is to brush your teeth once in the morning and once at night. If possible, try brushing your teeth in the middle of the day as well, perhaps after lunch.

Next, when you brush your teeth, make sure that you are brushing them for two minutes. Dentists say that this is a good length of time to ensure that you have cleaned every area of your mouth. To improve your chances of a deep clean, make sure that you spend at least 30 seconds on each section of your mouth.

Breaking your mouth into sections to clean is easy. The best way is to divide your teeth into four quarters. These quarters are the top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right.

Are you having trouble keeping track of the brushing time? No worries! There are plenty of apps and toothbrushes that can help. You can download an app to track the time, or you could buy a mechanical toothbrush that does it for you.

Floss Your Teeth Daily

Flossing isn’t just a dance move that people perform in videos. It’s also an important part of your oral care routine. You have to floss your teeth every day to remove the plaque that builds up in between your teeth. This is important because brushing can’t remove this plaque alone.

Now the question is, “What kind of floss should you use?” There are debates on whether string floss or water flossing is better. However, most dentists agree that both are effective at cleaning between your teeth. The really important thing is to use one of them each and every day.

Don’t Forget the Mouth Rinse

Sometimes, people don’t do all that they can for their mouths because of costs. Well, adding mouth rinse is an effective way to improve your oral care routine without adding a lot of extra cost. Let’s discuss a bit more about the two mouth rinses that you should use on a daily basis.

The first one is mouthwash. You have probably seen or used mouthwash at some point in your life. It usually burns a bit, particularly the ones that contain alcohol. While it might be uncomfortable, this burning is actually what kills the bad germs and bacteria in your mouth. You can take it, but the germs can’t! Using it every day can drastically improve the health of your gums.

However, the best type of rinse that you should be using is fluoride. Typically, the best time to use this kind of rinse is at night right before bed. Why is fluoride rinse so important? It’s a mineral that strengthens your teeth. Using it regularly can make your teeth less likely to develop cavities or decay.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum Between Meals

Chewing gum is not only fun and tasty but also might improve the health of your mouth. That is because chewing gum breaks up the food particles left on your teeth after eating. It increases saliva production in your mouth as well.

You might not know that saliva helps your mouth in two major ways. First, it washes away food particles and bacteria. Second, it contains minerals that your teeth need to stay strong. Thus, increasing saliva production in your mouth is always good.

When you go to chew gum, make sure that you chew it for at least 20 minutes. Also, make sure that it is sugar free. Chewing on sugary gum can actually aid bacteria growth.

Why Not Give Thanks?

Have you ever thanked your dental hygienists for the work that they do? Hopefully, you tell them thank you each and every time you go in for a dental exam or teeth cleaning. However, you should especially make sure that you tell them thank you during the month of October.

October isn’t just about increasing awareness about the importance of dental hygiene. It’s also about giving thanks to the 200,000 dental hygienists who spend their lives helping people maintain healthy mouths. They go to school for years to make sure that they have the skills needed to provide the oral help that you need.

Come Visit Us Today

If you are in need of a dental cleaning or exam, give us a visit. We are proud to offer dental services to people living in Virginia. Don’t wait any longer to get the help that you need. Call us so that we can set up an appointment.

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