October is National Dental Hygiene month, which reminds each of us to take care of our oral health by brushing and flossing our teeth daily, along with scheduling regular dental checkups. Our teeth are bombarded by bacteria and plaque all day long, leaving them vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities. Brushing and flossing each day removes tough plaque from teeth and prevents cavities from forming. However, dental checkups are a necessary part of this process to ensure that decay never forms in your mouth. Find out how you can celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month with this guide!
The Fight Against Tooth Decay
One of the most common oral health issues deals with tooth decay, which forms as bacteria from our food produces acid that eats away at our tooth enamel. This process creates cavities, or holes in the teeth, that can be painful and expensive to treat. While children are the most vulnerable for developing tooth decay, adults can experience it, too, if they eat sugary foods and don’t brush and floss their teeth well. One of the easiest ways to combat tooth decay and keep your smile healthy and happy is with a regular dental hygiene routine. The three most important parts of dental hygiene include brushing and flossing teeth, along with meeting with the dentist for biannual checkups. Without these three components, your teeth are much more likely to experience decay (and bad breath!) that can be annoying and embarrassing. While most decay forms from the sugary food and drinks we consume, many people don’t have good brushing and flossing routines that removes plaque from their mouths each day. When plaque is left on the teeth, it eats at your enamel until decay forms. This process occurs very quickly, especially if you’re not taking care of your teeth in the first place. That’s why for National Dental Hygiene Month, we’re encouraging people everywhere to commit to their oral health by brushing and flossing their teeth better and scheduling a checkup with their dentist. These three things are essential if you want to keep a healthy, good-smelling mouth that’s free of disease.
Advantages of Regular Brushing and Flossing
While most people understand that brushing and flossing are important things to do, many aren’t doing it correctly. For starters, you should brush your teeth at a 45-degree in a gentle, back-and-forth motion. You should be brushing the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth, including along the gum line where sticky plaque often accumulates. When cleaning the inner teeth, turn your toothbrush into a vertical position and scrub in an up-and-down motion to release any food particles that could be stuck, especially if you have a permanent retainer. Make sure that you brush your tongue each night, as well, since it’s a common place for bacteria to build up and cause bad breath. After brushing your teeth, measure out 18 inches of floss and wrap it around your middle and index fingers. Position the floss between two teeth and slide it up and down until plaque or debris comes off. Curve the floss around your tooth so you can remove the buildup that hangs out around the gum line, which you should also floss around at this time. Do this to each tooth with a clean portion of the floss until all of your teeth are cleaned. Try not to force the floss into a tight spot where you could cut the gum tissue and hurt yourself. By both brushing and flossing each day, you will significantly decrease your risk of tooth decay and establish a healthy mouth where teeth can reside like they’re supposed to.
Why You Should Schedule Regular Dental Checkups
Brushing and flossing your teeth each day aren’t the only things that you should do to protect your oral health. Having regular, biannual dental checkups are essential if you want to stay on top of disease and make sure that everything in your mouth is functioning as it should. Dental checkups include more than just a deep cleaning, though; you should expect a thorough examination that searches your mouth for signs of oral cancer, digital X-rays to evaluate your bone health and fillings to treat cavities. The deep cleaning portion focuses on the teeth, gums and mouth as the hygienist washes and cleans your teeth in preparation for the exam. The dentist will then use metal probes and mirrors identify signs of swelling and redness in your mouth, which point to gum disease. He/she will also check your bite for signs of tooth grinding problems and to make sure that the joints in your jaw work well. All of the soft tissues in your mouth, including the tongue, lips and cheeks, will be looked at, along with your neck and lymph glands. This part of the exam is done primarily to check for signs of oral cancer and ensure that disease isn’t growing without your knowledge. Dental hygiene should be a priority for every person, especially when it influences whether or not you experience tooth decay. By following these guidelines, your oral health will improve exponentially and you won’t have to worry about how your teeth look or feel because you’ll know that they’re in great shape.
Schedule Your Next Dental Checkup With Us!
Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month with a dental checkup at Mountain Aire Dentistry! Dr. Berry and his staff use only the best techniques and technology to clean your teeth and give you the clean, beautiful smile that you deserve. We guarantee that your oral health is in good hands, so call our office today at (303) 731-7755 to schedule your next dental checkup!