October brings fall colors, pumpkin-flavored treats, and all things Halloween, but did you know that October is also National Dental Hygiene Month?
National Dental Hygiene Month encourages us all to focus on improving our dental hygiene routines and to recognize our talented, hard-working hygienists for all that they do to educate and improve patients' oral health.
Make your hygienist proud and commit to following the following healthy smile recommendations.
Brush Teeth Twice a Day Morning and Night for 2 Minutes Each Time
Regular brushing is one of the best and easiest ways to protect your teeth and gums because it helps remove plaque daily that would otherwise build up and cause damage. A soft-bristled toothbrush would be best as it’s gentle on your gums. We would also recommend investing in a Sonicare toothbrush that can help you learn the ideal pressure to apply when brushing.
Make brushing fun by turning on some music while you brush to help pass the 2 minute time recommendation!
Floss At Least Once a Day
We know this isn’t your favorite, but this step is truly necessary because it removes bacteria in between your teeth that is missed during brushing. By flossing you are getting rid of that smelly bacteria before it turns into calculus or tartar. Daily flossing can save you money in the long run, by preventing that missed bacteria from turning into fillings later.
Brush Your Tongue
Your mouth naturally has lots of bacteria meant to protect you, however, sometimes this bacteria can produce byproducts, like sulfur compounds which can leave you with smelly breath. We recommend using a toothbrush or tongue scraper to gently scrape from the back to the tip of your tongue. Be sure to rinse your toothbrush or tongue scraper each time to make sure not to re-deposit any of that smelly bacteria.
Regular Visits with your Dental Team
Regular hygiene visits and exams are very important for your overall health. We’d like to see you at least twice a year for a hygiene visit so that we can remove any plaque or tartar buildup, polish any stains, make sure your x-rays are up to date, do an oral cancer screening, check for decay or chipped teeth and ensure that your gums are clean and healthy.
If gum disease is present, we’d like to see you four times a year as gum disease requires a deeper level of care in order to preserve and improve gum health.
We know sometimes life gets in the way and it’s easy to put your dental care on the back burner. However, this can unfortunately translate into bigger problems with your oral health like cavities that need to be filled, periodontal disease, root canals, crowns, or even the loss of teeth. We hate to see that happen which is why we are so big on prevention and the importance of maintaining your regular hygiene visits. If you are currently behind on visits, let’s get you caught up. Give us a call at (509) 468-4040 or contact us online to reserve an appointment and get back on track with a healthy smile.
Bonus Tips for Fresh Breath:
Mouthwash can be an effective tool in the fight against bad breath. Did you know though, that there is a certain type of mouthwash that is better? Make sure to look for an alcohol-free mouthwash that will not dry out your mouth. Dry mouth is one of the leading causes of bad breath.
Chewing sugarless gum is great for a quick fresh breath fix, but did you know that chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol helps inhibit cavity-causing bacteria?! Chewing gum with xylitol also helps to reduce dry mouth which is another sneaky bad breath culprit. Clinical studies have shown that following a meal with chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes can help prevent tooth decay.