Every October for the last seven years, the American Dental Hygienists' Association and the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Program have partnered together to celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month. This month celebrates the work and importance of our hygienists and serves to help the public in starting a serious conversation about oral health and hygiene.
This year's theme highlights the Daily 4 of good dental hygiene and healthy smiles: Brush, Floss, Rinse, and Chew.
The optimal time for brushing your teeth is two minutes. Doing this twice a day helps reduce biofilm and prevent caries, gingivitis and other biofilm-related diseases.
Also, don't forget to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months!
This one has made some recent headlines and you may be tempted to think that flossing may not be important. We pride ourselves on being a practice that remains up-to-date on practices that are both evidence-based and patient-centered. Flossing will be the subject of a future blog post, but suffice it to say, flossing remains an important oral hygiene practice.
It is important to note that while interdental cleaning is important for all patients, flossing, specifically, may not be right for everyone. Start a conversation with your hygienist or dentist about which interdental cleaning method will work best for you!
Maintaining good oral health means more than just brushing your teeth. Using an antiseptic mouth rinse to address the rest of the mouth is equally as important as brushing or flossing. Antimicrobial mouth washes can help reduce biofilms and help prevent gingivitis. Ask your dentist or hygienist on recommendations for such rinses.
While this may seem counter-intuitive, chewing sugar-free gum can be a good supplement in good oral health.
According to the ADA, "chewing stimulates the salivary glands to increase their flow rate by up to 10 times during the first few minutes of chewing, and the flavors in sugar-free gum also increase the quantity of saliva in the mouth. This helps clean out food particles and neutralizes biofilm acids on the teeth".
For more information on National Dental Hygiene Month, visit the American Dental Hygienists' Association website.
Lastly, seeing your dentist or hygienist every 6 months for a cleaning is a good step in maintaining your oral health. Whether its been 6 months or even longer, call our office today to schedule your next cleaning appointment. Our staff will be more than happy to help you schedule that ever-important appointment!
Happy National Dental Hygiene Month, from our family to yours!
If you haven't had your regular cleaning give us a call today!