Dental Hygiene Awareness
It’s time to replace that old toothbrush and restock your mouthwash because October is Dental Hygiene Awareness Month! That’s right, oral health is so important that it doesn’t just have a day dedicated to it – World Oral Health Day on March 20th – but an entire month as well.
This October is the perfect time to re-evaluate your dental hygiene regimen and give your teeth and gums a little extra attention. Dental Hygiene Month is for everyone – young and old – to celebrate the importance of a healthy smile and the role that dental hygienists play in keeping your teeth clean.
So, how can you get involved in Dental Hygiene Awareness Month, and why is it so important to spread awareness about great oral hygiene? Let’s find out…
What Do I Need to Know About Dental Hygiene Awareness Month?
National Dental Hygiene Month has been around since 2009, but don’t worry if you’re only just hearing about it, there’s never a bad time to improve your dental hygiene regimen!
The awareness month is the result of a partnership between the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA). The idea behind the month is to celebrate dental hygienists and raise awareness about oral hygiene, and in particular, the four daily habits to keep your teeth and gums healthy: brushing, flossing, rinsing, and chewing.
The campaign is both a reminder to look after your smile and a chance to learn more about the correct techniques for keeping your teeth clean, your gums healthy, and your breath fresh. Adults and children alike can get involved in Dental Hygiene Month and learn more about the importance of oral health.
The Four Habits for a Lifetime of Great Oral Health
The four components of excellent oral health form a foundation from which an entire lifetime of healthy teeth can develop. Preventive treatment can greatly reduce your risk of developing all-too-common dental problems, like cavities and gum disease, and help to keep your smile looking picture-perfect.
It couldn’t be any easier to introduce great oral hygiene practices into your daily routine. Here are the four daily habits that Oral Hygiene Awareness Month is all about:
Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things for great oral health: it gets rid of plaque and reduces the risk of developing cavities and gum disease. You should be brushing your teeth twice a day, once after you’ve finished your breakfast and once before you go to bed. Each brushing session should last for two minutes and it’s important to use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Learning the correct brushing technique is something you only need to do once to ensure that your teeth receive the most benefit from brushing.
Here are the five steps for effective brushing:
- Position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards the gums
- Move the toothbrush in short strokes gently back and forth
- Brush the outer and chewing surfaces of your teeth
- Adjust your toothbrush to a vertical position and brush the inner surfaces with small strokes up and down
- Finish by brushing your tongue to get rid of bacteria
You should floss your teeth once a day, ideally before you go to bed. Flossing is crucial for cleaning parts of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t reach. When you floss, you remove plaque and small particles of food that get stuck between your teeth, which helps to lower the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you don’t remove plaque, over time it’ll harden and become tartar.
For good dental hygiene, mouthwash shouldn’t be used as an alternative to brushing or as an optional extra: you should use good mouthwash to rinse your mouth regularly after you brush and floss your teeth. Brushing and flossing target your teeth, while mouthwash gets rid of bacteria from other areas of your mouth. The mouthwash will help to prevent gum disease and keep your breath fresh.
The final of the four pillars of great dental hygiene is chewing gum, but this doesn’t mean chewing just any old gum, it needs to be sugar-free gum. Chewing sugar-free gum after you’ve eaten for around 20 minutes is an effective way to remove any debris stuck in your teeth. The chewing action will also stimulate saliva production, which is your body’s natural defense against cavities. More saliva means stronger enamel and greater control over acid buildup.
Dental Hygiene Awareness Month Deserves a Place on Your Calendar!
As well as paying close attention to your cleaning regimen, this October is also a fantastic time to book an appointment for a dental checkup at Beautiful Smiles Dental Center; after all, the month is all about celebrating dental hygiene and the work of dental hygienists!
Visiting your dentist regularly is crucial for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Your dentist will check your mouth for signs of problems and give you advice about great dental hygiene techniques to implement at home. You’ll also be able to book professional dental cleaning, which will eliminate the plaque and tartar on your teeth and help to keep your smile in tip top condition.
It’s easy to forget about the importance of keeping your teeth and gums clean amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, the last thing you want is for your dental hygiene regimen to start slipping and open the door for cavities to start creeping in.
Dental Hygiene Awareness Month is a celebration of the incredible work of dental hygienists and an essential reminder to keep up with the big four daily habits for good oral health. The month raises awareness about dental hygiene and regular checkups, not only as a reminder for you, but to promote dental hygiene for children – the earlier children learn how to care for their teeth, the better!
Marking the month down on your calendar will help to bring oral hygiene to the forefront of your mind once a year and remind you of the importance of looking after your teeth and gums. Contact Beautiful Smiles Dental Center in Gurnee, IL for more information regarding Dental Hygiene & Dental Health Care.