Last month was National Dental Hygiene Month—how did you celebrate?
Each October, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association works to promote healthy smiles by emphasizing the importance of routine oral hygiene for an entire month. At Robbie Smith, DDS, we appreciate any awareness efforts focused on helping patients to keep teeth in top-top shape. This year’s theme, called “Brush, Floss, Rinse, Chew,” was centered around the four basic components of a well-balanced, preventative dental regimen.
However, just because the official “Dental Hygiene” month is over doesn’t mean you should suddenly abandon the habit now. It’s important to remember that dental health is more than just a one-month endeavor—it’s something every person should focus on daily. When life gets hectic, it’s easy to slip up with a step or two here and there, and to slowly become slack on some of the more important parts of your oral hygiene routine. Since it’s always helpful to have a refresher, here’s a reminder of the basic steps you should be taking to ensure your teeth stay healthy, per the American Dental Hygienists’ Association:
Brush your teeth for a minimum of 2 minutes, twice a day. According to recent research, that’s the magic number, and is your best deterrent for plaque build-up, cavities, gingivitis and other plaque-related oral diseases.
Floss every day, no matter what. This may be one of the steps skipped most often—though it’s also one of the most important. It’s hard to reach every bit of plaque build-up through brushing alone (especially along the gumline and between your teeth), which is why flossing is so critical. If you’ve had trouble getting into the habit in the past, try trying out flosses with different thickness, coating or filaments. You may find you prefer a certain kind to another and are therefore more likely to floss routinely.
Rinse your mouth with an anti-mictrobial mouthwash. This can help prevent gum disease, including gingivitis, and can help get other germs brushing and flossing left behind.
After eating, chew a piece of sugar-fre gum. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, an important natural defense against decay. Furthermore, you’ll wash away potentially harmful bacteria, and can also strengthen tooth enamel. It’s win-win-win. (Just make extra sure you’re chewing sugar-free.)
Do you Brush, Floss, Rinse and Chew? If not, it’s important that you start! We encourage you to book an appointment with the professionals at Robbie Smith DDS today—our experienced dentists can give you a full picture of your overall dental health, so you’ll know exactly which areas in your routine you can afford to improve upon. We look forward to helping you preserve a beautiful, healthy smile!