Dental Hygiene Month
Taking your oral health seriously can be difficult. In fact, one survey from the American Dental Association (ADA) found that 42 percent of Americans don’t visit the dentist as often as they should.
October is Dental Hygiene Month, a time dedicated to learning the best practices for oral health and recognizing the important work of dentists and dental hygienists. Learning why dental hygiene is important, building a daily routine, and prioritizing professional cleanings will all help in keeping your mouth happy and healthy.
Dr. Christian Berdy appeared on WJXT on Saturday, October 23 to discuss this topic. View the segment here, and continue reading to learn more:
Why Should Dental Hygiene Be a Priority?
Practicing dental hygiene is just as important as practicing general hygiene. Proper dental hygiene ensures that your teeth and gums are clean and healthy, which prevents diseases and decay. Dental health is often something that is taken for granted, or is delayed because of other obligations. And decay doesn’t happen overnight. By the time you notice problems, it’s usually the result of months of bad hygiene habits. October is a great month to remind people not to delay checkups and treatment, and to build a strong daily routine.
It’s also worth noting that when you maintain good dental hygiene, you’re also maintaining your overall health. Many diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease can stem from or be exacerbated by poor dental health. By caring for your mouth, you’re also caring for your body.
Keeping your mouth healthy and happy also keeps you healthy and happy. Experiencing nagging pains in the mouth is undesirable for anyone, and untreated dental ailments that cause discomfort can distract you from things like school and work and make it difficult to focus.
How Do You Keep Dental Hygiene In Check?
Dental hygiene is all about developing a solid routine and sticking to it. A proper oral care routine will make it easier to take care of your teeth, and allow you to be consistent in caring for your mouth. At Berdy Dental Group we recommend:
- Brushing your teeth twice daily, with ADA-approved toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to avoid irritation
Be sure to replace your toothbrush at least once every three months to avoid bacteria buildup. An electric toothbrush provides a deeper clean than a manual, and assists with developing a proper brushing technique – there are many great options on the market today.
- Using mouthwash to rid your mouth of any remaining food particles/bacteria
We recommend keeping a travel-size mini mouthwash in your bag so that you can quickly rinse your mouth even when you’re on-the-go. The longer food particles sit in your mouth, the worse it gets as the bacteria multiply.
- Flossing every day
Everyone’s heard this one – but flossing is an incredibly important part of any oral hygiene routine. While brushing does help clean our teeth, it only reaches a fraction of a tooth’s surface. Flossing is the only way to get a deep clean to remove bacteria. We also recommend the use of a Waterpik® or similar accessory to easily achieve an even deeper clean.
- Avoiding tobacco use
Using tobacco products is extremely detrimental to your dental hygiene. Even with a proper routine, the use of tobacco products can severely diminish the effectiveness of the routine, causing decay. Smoking affects the normal function of gum tissue, causing infections and restricting blood flow. This also delays healing after oral surgery for dental implants, tooth extraction or treatment of gum disease, making the recovery process difficult.
Why Is Visiting the Dentist Important?
Even with the best oral hygiene routine, cavities can creep in and issues can arise. You may be more genetically prone to cavities or other ailments, or your cavities may develop slowly and without pain – meaning you don’t realize you have them without the help of an exam or X-ray. Your diet and lifestyle can contribute to issues as well.
This is why it’s still very important to visit a dentist for a professional cleaning every six months.
Dental hygiene visits are about more than cleaning your teeth – our team also identifies gum disease, oral cancer and even diabetes. We help put together a treatment plan or daily routine for patients.
When needed, we also use our advanced dental technology to help patients get the care they need. We can use technology like 3D Cone Beam Imaging to make a 3D model that gives a comprehensive look at the state of the mouth as well as what may be done to treat the patient.
Though we recommend that you visit a dentist every six months for a routine dental cleaning and exam, depending on the health of your mouth, we may suggest more frequent visits.
At Berdy Dental Group, we take dental hygiene seriously. Talking to your dentist about how to improve your dental hygiene is key to keeping a healthy mouth. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to schedule your next appointment.