Around here, every month is dental hygiene month! But here in the United States, that month is officially the month of October. Each year since 2009, the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) has taken this opportunity to celebrate dental hygienists and dental hygiene in general. This year, the ADHA once again is recognizing hard-working dental hygienists and excellent oral hygiene. Here’s what you can do to participate in this annual celebration of oral health.
Brush Your Teeth
Make your teeth healthier (and your hygienist’s job easier!) by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. This will not only reduce the instance of dental caries (cavities), but it will also keep your teeth whiter and your breath fresher. Whiter teeth means less calculus built up on the teeth, which means less scraping in the dental chair. We recommend a soft-bristled brush for both adults and children. This does the job without damaging your enamel.
Floss Your Teeth
In addition to brushing twice a day, flossing between each tooth at least once a day is recommended by the American Dental Association and the ADHA. Flossing can be tricky, so if you have any questions about proper flossing techniques, speak to Dr. Abelar or one of his skilled hygienists for a demonstration.
Be careful flossing around temporary crowns and ask for special instructions when flossing with braces. Flossing cleans about 30 percent of the teeth that cannot be reached by your toothbrush, so it’s really important!
Not everyone likes the taste of mouthwash, but the good news is there are many varieties available for every taste. Some contain alcohol, some don’t, but they all add an extra layer of protection to your teeth by rinsing away food particles and plaque you may have missed by brushing and flossing. It also freshens your breath.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Though it wasn’t mentioned this year, previous Dental Hygiene Months have suggested the importance of chewing gum for at least 20 minutes after you eat to help neutralize plaque acids that cause cavities. But remember: This only applies to sugarless gum. Gum with sugar in it is bad for your teeth and should never be chewed.
Thank Your Hygienist
In honor of Dental Hygiene Month, thank your friendly, dedicated hygienist for his or her hard work and dedication to giving you the most beautiful smile possible!
To schedule an appointment or with any questions about brushing, flossing, mouthwash or any other oral hygiene query, contact Dr. Abelar at 858-256-4088.