Good Dental Hygiene Helps Your Entire Body
As you grow up, you are likely to have been told time and time again about the importance of dental hygiene. From the moment your teeth first grow in, you have more than likely been taught how to properly keep your teeth and mouth clean. Hopefully, you have been going to your dentist the recommended twice a year for a dental cleaning, as well. The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Wrigley felt that the need for focus on oral hygiene was important, and they partnered together to make the entire month of October National Dental Hygiene Month.
Dental hygienists are often the ones who make sure our teeth are as healthy and clean as possible. The ADHA and Wrigley founded National Dental Hygiene Month to celebrate the effort and work these dental hygienists do to keep our teeth healthy. They also wish to use this month as a way to increase awareness of the importance of good oral hygiene.
Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas encourages you to give thanks to the dental hygienists across the country who work to ensure our teeth stay healthy. We are also here to raise awareness on dental hygiene and how you can keep your mouth clean on your own.
How to Keep Your Mouth Healthy
This year, National Dental Hygiene Month looks to emphasize four crucial cleaning routines you can use to help maintain your healthy smile: brushing, flossing, rinsing, and chewing. By pairing these routines along with receiving a dental cleaning once every six months, you can better protect your mouth from gum diseases and much more.
Dentists recommend that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. Whenever you eat, food particles are left on and in between your teeth. When plaque builds up, it threatens the enamel of your teeth and increases tooth decay, threatening the health of your teeth. The ADHA provides these tips to brush your teeth properly:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Brush for two minutes
- Keep your brush at a 45-degree angle
- Gently brush your teeth back and forth in short strokes
- Brush the inside of your teeth, the outside of them, and the chewing areas of them
Another habit you should adopt when brushing your teeth is brushing your tongue. This helps remove potentially harmful bacteria from building up and threatening your oral health.
You should also find a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits comfortably in your mouth. It should be big enough to brush one or two teeth at once. After three or four months or when the bristles begin to fray, you should replace it with a new one.
While many argue the benefits of flossing, it should remain an important part of your oral hygiene routine. It helps remove debris and plaque buildup in between your teeth that a normal toothbrush can’t reach. Removing this plaque helps reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Roughly one-third of adults admit to never flossing their teeth. Lack of flossing often leads to bad breath, plaque buildup, and much more. A lack of information regarding proper flossing techniques may be a cause for this. We are here to provide tips to ensure you floss correctly:
- At a minimum, floss once a day
- Break off roughly 12 inches of floss
- You should wrap the ends of the floss on each middle finger and hold it with your thumbs and index fingers
- Gently rub the floss between your teeth.
- Avoid contact with your gums
- When you reach your gums, gently guide it against one tooth then back down
The two routines we have mentioned so far put a lot of focus on your teeth. However, your teeth only make up less than half of your mouth, which means there is plenty of space left unchecked. Bacteria, biofilm, and debris all build up on your tongue, gums, and the inside of your cheeks. With the help of cosmetic and therapeutic mouthwash, you can rinse your mouth, eliminating most of these threats.
You should rinse your mouth after you have brushed your teeth and flossed, washing away any debris knocked free.
This is an interesting routine that not many people are aware of. However, it can be just as important for the overall health of your teeth and mouth. The ADA states that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following eating can help prevent tooth decay. When you are chewing gum, your mouth increases saliva production, which helps wash away food debris, removes threats from acids produced by bacteria, and helps with digestion. Saliva also contains disease-fighting substances that are spread throughout the mouth.
Chewing sugarless gum can also strengthen your jaw muscles and helps those who deal with chronic anxiety.
The Importance of National Dental Hygiene Month
While many people in the country feel that caring for one’s dental hygiene is a given, not everyone shares this same thought process. Some are in situations that make receiving the appropriate dental hygiene information difficult or impossible. There are those who take the health of their teeth and mouth for granted.
The entire month of October is a time to spread information to educate others about the importance of taking care of their mouths. Not only does it get the point across that oral hygiene is crucial for your overall health, but it gives us a time to celebrate and thank dental hygienists for all the hard work they do.
Having a healthy mouth can help the rest of your body stay healthy, as well. Some studies have found a connection between gum disease and heart disease. Your blood vessels thicken with gum disease, which has obvious effects on your health.
Your dental hygiene should be just as important as your overall health. Everybody should implement brushing, flossing, rinsing, and chewing into their daily dental hygiene routines. National Dental Hygiene Month stands as a reminder of just how important taking care of your mouth is. Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas is ready to help you continue to ensure your teeth are healthy and clean.