Even in a month filled with candy, like October, it’s still important to take care of your pearly whites. Perhaps that’s why October is National Dental Hygiene Month. It’s a perfect time to learn ways to take care of your teeth to counteract all the havoc that eating lots of candy can wreak. Let’s learn 4 ways that you can celebrate this month in style and keep your mouth nice and healthy.
1. Brush Twice a Day
Many of us already follow this rule, but do you utilize the right technique for brushing? It involves:
- Holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
- Moving the brush back and forth while applying only the gentlest pressure
- Cleaning the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of the teeth
- Brushing the tongue to remove bacteria that cause bad breath
Follow these steps every morning and night to keep your breath fresh and your teeth clean.
2. Clean Between Your Teeth
Brushing is no big deal for most of us, but some people don’t floss nearly as much as they should, which is just once a day. Ideally, you should floss before bedtime, as nighttime is when plaque between the teeth have the most time to do some serious damage.
Recent news reports may have suggested that flossing is not important, but your dentist will always disagree with that sentiment. It’s the only way to clean two of the five surfaces of your teeth. You wouldn’t only wash 60 percent of your body, so why apply the same logic to your pearly whites?
3. Rinse with Mouthwash
Your teeth alone account for less than half of the space in your mouth. Rinsing with mouthwash can help clean out the rest of the soft tissues that your toothbrush and floss cannot adequately clean.
Add mouthwash to your daily oral hygiene regimen. Since every mouthwash is different, you’ll have to read the instructions on the label to know whether to rinse before or after brushing and flossing. Just be sure to avoid mouthwash with alcohol, as that can give you dry mouth, which leaves you more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum infection.
4. Chew Sugar-Free Gum After Eating
Clinical studies from the American Dental Association (ADA) have demonstrated that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal or snack drastically reduces your risk for tooth decay. Chewing gum, especially the sugarless kind, increases the production of saliva, which neutralizes the acids in the food you just consumed. It also washes away excess bits of food debris that could cause cavities. Packing a stick of sugar-free gum in your lunch couldn’t hurt.
National Dental Hygiene Month is in full swing, but these tips can be implemented into your daily life no matter what time of year it is!
About the Practice
At the Dentists of Newtown, our team of highly trained specialists and dental experts can bring you comprehensive dental care under one roof. We offer preventive hygiene treatments such as dental sealants and fluoride applications to provide an extra boost of protection against decay. To schedule your next professional cleaning and/or checkup, click here or call (215) 579-9900.