This October, we’re celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month! This annual event was created in 2009 by the American Dental Hygienist Association to raise awareness about the importance of oral health and proper dental hygiene. Dental hygiene is essential for maintaining good oral health, and there are many ways that you can improve your dental hygiene habits. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of oral hygiene, as well as some of the best tips for keeping your teeth healthy and sparkling!
The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene is essential for overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of problems, starting with bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease, and spanning all the way to abscesses, bone deterioration, and tooth loss. Additionally, research has shown that there is a link between poor oral health and other chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. In fact, severe gum disease has been found to increase the risk of developing these life-threating systemic issues. For these reasons, it’s important to make sure that you’re taking care of your teeth and gums!
The Best Dental Hygiene Tips
At this point, you may be wondering how to improve your oral hygiene routine. Some of the best ways to improve your oral hygiene include:
Brushing and flossing regularly:
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning! Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, AND floss at least once a day. These two practices are the foundation of any oral hygiene routine, so it is necessary to stay consistent in their application. Both brushing and flossing are essential for removing excess plaque from the mouth. Plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria and it is responsible for causing tooth decay and gum disease. Therefore, regular brushing and flossing helps to minimize this risk by removing plaque from the surface of the teeth, as well as from in between the teeth and along the gums.
Getting semi-annual dental exams and cleanings:
In addition to brushing and flossing at home, it’s important to visit the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. During these appointments, your dentist will be able to identify any areas of concern and provide treatments accordingly. For example, if you have early signs of gum disease, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning. Deep cleanings are important because they help to remove plaque and tartar buildup from below the gum line, where at-home brushing and flossing can’t reach. Tartar build-up, in particular, cannot be removed by brushing or flossing, and can only be removed by your dental hygienist using special tools.
Maintaining your toothbrush:
Another important tip for keeping your teeth healthy is to make sure that you’re taking care of your toothbrush. You should be replacing your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray or fade in color. In addition, it’s important to store your toothbrush in a clean, dry place where it won’t become contaminated with bacteria. Taking care of your toothbrush decreases the amount of bacteria that you are introducing into your mouth.
Watching your diet:
Finally, what you eat and drink can also impact your oral health. Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can contribute to tooth decay, so it’s important to limit your intake of these items. In addition, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water helps to rinse away food particles and plaque that may be stuck on your teeth. It also helps to keep your mouth moist, which can prevent dry mouth and the growth of bacteria.
In this blog post, we discussed the importance of oral hygiene and some of the best ways to maintain good oral health. By following these tips, you can help to improve your oral hygiene routine and keep your smile looking its best! National Dental Hygiene Month is the perfect time to start making changes to your routine, so why not give it a try? Your teeth will thank you!
Dr. Gerald Sisko graduated from Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 1987. He is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association, and the Akron Dental Society where he is currently holding a council position. He has had the honor and distinction of being awarded “TOP DENTIST” in Akron and Cleveland as well as Northeast Ohio for the last several consecutive years.