National Dental Hygiene Month
October is National Dental Hygiene Month which means we are talking about all things preventative care. This includes your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, floss picks, tongue scraper, mouthwash and more. Dental Hygienists pride themselves on oral hygiene instruction so we want to share with you what they share with their patients on a daily basis.
Oral Health Care Routine
Did you know spending just about 5 minutes a day can save you hundreds upon thousands of dollars over the years? That’s right – if you set aside 2 minutes, twice a day to brush and about a minute for some floss and mouthwash – you will be doing yourself a huge favor. This routine ensures the best preventive dental care you can give your teeth and gums, keeping them healthy and preventing the need for fillings, crowns and gum treatments. Did you know more people lose their teeth due to gum disease than cavities? Yes, it’s true, you can lose all of your teeth without ever having a cavity in your life.
Why Do I Need to Brush and Floss?
Most people don’t realize the importance of flossing. It’s actually just as important if not MORE important than brushing. Foods we eat can help remove the plaque from our teeth as we chew and mash our food up. There is no physical way to clean out the plaque, bacteria and food particles that settle UNDER the gumline other than flossing. We aren’t talking about a Waterpik or toothpicks. We are talking about that good ol’ fashioned piece of string you wrap around your fingers and use in the mouth. Here are some tips on proper brushing and flossing techniques.
You can brush for 10 minutes and miss the gumline. Keeping the teeth clean is all about technique, not the brand of toothbrush or flavor of toothpaste you are using. It is critical to use the proper technique to remove plaque most effectively. It’s like getting the most bang for your buck. Make those 2 minutes count and angle that toothbrush at a 45-degree angle near the gum line. Look in the mirror and see your bristles getting up by your gums where your teeth touch them. This is where the plaque settles. Go in a circular motion while using overlapping strokes. Go over the same areas more than once. Plaque forms on the teeth in layers so one swipe doesn’t do the trick. You need to go over the same areas multiple times to get all the layers.
Flossing is a whole other challenge. We get it, it’s a pain. The key is – get a piece from about your fingertips to shoulder when your arm is straight out. Then wrap the floss around your middle fingers, evenly on each side until you have about 6 inches remaining in between the 2 fingers. Now use your thumbs and index fingers to actually slide the floss in between the teeth. You should only have about an inch when you place your thumbs together to insert the floss between the teeth. Once you are in between, angle side to side in a “C” shape motion hugging each side of the teeth to ensure plaque removal. Get down to the base of the gumline. This takes practice, but practice makes perfect!
No matter what other additional aids you are using from a daily mouthwash, tongue scraper, soft picks for in between meals or a Waterpik, you will make your hygienist proud and your teeth will thank you. Remember, just 5 minutes a day, to keep the cavity bugs away. For family dentistry in Dublin, Ohio, contact us today!