October is the month when most people are thinking about candy, or they are busy getting ready for the treat-filled holiday season to come. Dental hygiene might be the last thing on their minds. But did you know that October is actually National Dental Hygiene Month? It is the perfect time for you to consider whether you are doing all you can to maintain a clean, fresh, and healthy smile. Let’s talk about why dental hygiene is so important and what you can do to make sure your hygiene practices are on-point.
The Importance of Dental Hygiene
Dental hygiene is about so much more than maintaining fresh breath. Without proper hygiene practices, it is all too easy for harmful plaque to accumulate on the teeth and gums. Over time, that plaque hardens into tartar. Eventually, cavities and gum disease can result. Missteps in dental hygiene can also lead to excessive staining on the teeth. Treating such issues can cost a significant amount of time and money, so it is vastly preferable to stop them from occurring in the first place.
5 Keys to Excellent Dental Hygiene
Fortunately, it does not take a lot of work to keep a clean mouth. Here are some key dental hygiene tips in State College:
Brush Twice a Day
Each time you brush your teeth, you should dedicate about two minutes to the task; spend 30 seconds on cleaning each quadrant of your mouth (don’t forget to brush your gum line and the backs of your teeth). Use a soft-bristled brush, and move it in short, tooth-wide strokes.
Wind the floss around your middle fingers, and use your index fingers to guide it. Gently slide the floss between the teeth and run it along the enamel on both sides of the space. As you move around your mouth, make sure that the section of floss you are using is clean.
Use a Mouthwash
There are tons of different mouthwashes on the market. Some are designed specifically to strengthen the teeth, prevent tartar formation, or simply kill bad breath germs. Your dentist or dental hygienist can help you pick a product that fits your unique needs.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water encourages saliva production and rinses away food particles that might be clinging to the teeth. It’s especially important to sip water after you enjoy a sugary or starchy treat, like candy, soda, or bread.
Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year
A routine preventive dental appointment includes a thorough cleaning by a trained hygienist. The cleaning can even remove tartar from the teeth, which is impossible to get rid of with a regular toothbrush. The hygienist can also give you personalized tips to help you care better for your teeth on a daily basis.
Is your mouth clean? If you sense room for improvement in your dental hygiene practices, this month is the ideal time to step up your habits. A few simple adjustments to your routine could help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile for decades to come!
About the Author
Dr. Donald Marks is a Pennsylvania native who truly values his place in the State College community. He has been practicing for decades, and he has had the opportunity to learn from some of the most renowned professionals in his field. If you would like Dr. Marks and our team to help you keep a clean and healthy smile, contact our office today at 814-234-0329.