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October Is National Dental Hygiene Month

Woman putting toothpaste on a toothbrush

When October is here, what do you think of? You likely think of changing leaves, cooler weather, and Halloween. If you are a big coffee drinker, you might even think about going to your local coffee shop to get a pumpkin spice coffee. While all of these things are characteristic of October, that is not all that the month represents. It also happens to be National Dental Hygiene Month.

During this month, dentists and hygienists from across the country spread awareness about the importance of proper oral care. They also provide tips on how you can properly care for your teeth at home.

October is a special time of year for many reasons. Let’s make sure that we add good oral hygiene to that list as well. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month.  

Why Your Oral Hygiene Is So Important

First things first. Let’s see why practicing good oral hygiene is so important. After all, it must be important if there is a whole month dedicated to dental hygiene.

The short of it is that dental hygiene is important in helping you avoid tooth decay and gum disease. These are two serious issues, especially in the United States. Avoiding these dental problems can boost your confidence by keeping your smile looking good and can help you avoid other health problems too.

In fact, poor dental hygiene has been linked to a number of other severe health problems. Some of these include strokes, diabetes, or heart attacks. Thus, practicing good oral hygiene is important for protecting not only your smile but also your overall health.  

Now Is the Time to Thank Your Arlington, VA Dental Hygienists

Have you ever thanked your dental hygienists for all of the work they do for you? If not, National Dental Hygiene Month is the perfect time to do it. After all, the month isn’t just about spreading awareness of the importance of good dental hygiene. It’s also about giving thanks to the people who work year-round to protect your oral health.

Did you know that there are over 200,000 dental hygienists in the United States alone? The good news is that many of the best ones are right here in Arlington, VA. Take this month to let them know that you appreciate everything they do for you.  

How to Care for Your Oral Health at Home

  We all know that part of good oral hygiene is going to the dentist on a regular basis. However, good oral hygiene doesn’t start and end with the dentist. You also have to develop good oral hygiene habits to use at home if you want to keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to keep your mouth happy and healthy.  

Make Sure to Brush Your Teeth

The first good habit for healthy teeth and gums should be obvious. However, it can’t be stated enough. You need to brush your teeth twice a day. If at all possible, you should brush after each and every meal you eat. Of course, that can be difficult to do, which is why it is recommended that you at least do it twice a day.

When you go to brush your teeth, you should consider the type of toothbrush you are using. Get one that has soft bristles that vary in length. These bristles not only clean at different angles but are also less likely to damage your tooth enamel.

Additionally, be sure that you are brushing your tongue. Your tongue can be home to a number of bacteria that can cause bad breath and put your oral health at risk.  

Floss, It Doesn’t Matter How

  The second good habit to develop is flossing daily. When you floss, you remove food pieces and plaque that get stuck between your teeth. These are areas of your mouth that your toothbrush simply can’t reach. Flossing also stimulates your gums, which makes them healthier.

What kind of floss should you use? It really doesn’t matter. You could use a Waterpik flosser or standard string floss. As long as you are flossing, you can do whichever method you prefer.

Use That Mouthwash

Using a mouth rinse is a great way to promote healthy dental hygiene. Mouthwash is a great way to kill bacteria within the mouth and freshen your breath. It is not meant to replace brushing or flossing, but it complements your normal oral care routine perfectly. If done regularly, it can stave off gum disease.

Of course, mouthwash isn’t the only rinse that you should use. You should also use a fluoride rinse because it plays an important role in improving your tooth enamel. The stronger your enamel is, the less likely that you are to get cavities.

Consider using mouthwash in the morning and fluoride rinse at night. The mouthwash in the morning will kill bacteria and help get rid of morning breath. Using fluoride at night gives you longer without eating or drinking so that the fluoride gets to sit on your teeth longer.

Reach for Sugar-Free Gum

Have you ever seen a pack of sugar-free gum that has the American Dental Association or ADA symbol on it? That is because chewing sugar-free gum can protect your teeth. When you chew on gum, it increases saliva production that not only washes away food but also contains important minerals that naturally strengthen your tooth enamel.

Just make sure that you are chewing sugar-free gum. Chewing on sugary gum just gives the bacteria in your mouth more of what they need to spread.  

We Can Help With Your Oral Hygiene

Are you looking for a dentist you can visit in Arlington, VA? If so, you have come to the right place. We provide people in Arlington, VA with dental hygiene services that they can rely on. Our helpful hygienists can even provide more tips on how to improve your dental care routine at home.

National Dental Hygiene Month is the perfect time to schedule an appointment to see your Arlington, VA dentist. We can set up your next visit.

Reach out to us today