5 Oral Care Tips for National Dental Hygiene Month

October 27, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — smilesforlifeteam @ 12:38 pm
Closeup of woman smiling while brushing her teeth

October isn’t just Breast Cancer Awareness month and spooky season; it’s also National Dental Hygiene Month! Since roughly 90% of Americans have had a cavity by their 21st birthday and about 50% have some form of gum disease, emphasizing the importance of oral health continues to be crucial. So, if you’ve adopted a few unhealthy dental habits or simply want to double-check that you’re doing everything you can to keep your smile healthy, keep reading to learn a few oral care tips.

Tip #1: Visit Your Dentist Every Six Months

Remember, biannual checkups and cleanings aren’t optional; they are a crucial pillar of any good oral hygiene routine. At each visit, your dentist checks for cavities, examines the condition of your gums, and screens for oral cancer. Plus, these periodic appointments allow your dental hygienist to regularly remove built-up plaque and tartar that could otherwise lead to dental problems, like gum disease.

Tip #2: Always Brush Your Teeth Before Bed

At the end of a long day, it can be tempting to jump into bed without completing your oral hygiene routine. After all, how much damage could one night do? In reality, a lot! When you don’t brush before bed, the food particles, plaque, and sugar in your mouth are left alone to wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Quickly, this increases your chances of developing cavities and other serious oral health concerns.

Tip #3: Don’t Forget About Your Tongue

Your teeth and gums are important, but so is your tongue – it takes up a lot of real estate in your mouth! So, make sure to use a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to gently clean it from back to front. Not only will this help protect your oral health, but it will also keep your breath minty-fresh.

Tip #4: Treat Flossing as Important as Brushing

Have you fallen out of the habit of flossing? Well, there is no time like the present to pick it up again. After all, brushing alone only cleans about 60% of the surface of your teeth. To properly and thoroughly clean your mouth, you need to floss too. Note: if you find flossing to be a cumbersome process, try using pre-threaded floss or an oral irrigator instead!

Tip #5: Be Mindful of What You Eat

Of course, keeping your smile healthy extends beyond just brushing and flossing regularly. In addition to implementing a solid oral hygiene routine, you should keep your consumption of added sugar to a minimum. Instead, focus on adding plenty of nutrient-dense foods into your diet, including crunchy fruits and vegetables.

While oral hygiene is important year-round, October is a great time to realign and make sure you’re doing everything you can to take care of your teeth. If you need a little help along the way, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist!

About the Author

For more than 30 years now, Dr. James T. Gray has dedicated his days to helping his patients achieve and maintain healthy smiles. He would be more than happy to do the same for you! Whether you’re overdue for your six-month checkup or you’re interested in a specialty service, like dental implants, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment via our website or by phone at (817) 460-4131.