October is classified as National Dental Hygiene Month, and 2021 is the sixth year that it has been recognized as an awareness month. In October, we spread awareness and attention to the importance and need for good dental hygiene for everyone. Good oral health is more than just brushing your teeth, so they look white and clean. There is a profound connection between full-body health and good oral health; they go hand in hand. Simply put, if your mouth isn’t healthy, it’s going to affect the health of your body. The American Dental Hygienists Association and the American Dental Association have teamed up with the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (yes, the chewing gum company) using the month of October to bring needed attention to how important your oral health is to your overall physical health, and it’s in straightforward, manageable steps that you can do your part to have a healthy smile.
When we eat, drink, and breathe we allow different bacteria into our mouth, which causes plaque. As we consume food, especially foods high in carbohydrates and sugars, bacteria feed off these sugars and form acid. As time passes, these acids can destroy the enamel on your teeth causing tooth decay. Gingivitis, tooth decay, gum disease, and periodontal gum disease are serious conditions that no one wants to deal with. Numerous medical studies have shown that problems with your oral health can link to issues in other parts of your body:
It’s not a problematic or strange concept that the best thing you can do for your teeth is to brush them twice a day. The ADHA recommends that you brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. There’s not a magic formula or an expensive brush or technique you need; just remember and practice these simple tips:
One of the most neglected practices in good dental hygiene is flossing your teeth. Even the most devoted brushers struggle to make flossing a part of their daily routine. (Guilty!) Flossing is essential to help remove plaque and debris between your teeth that your toothbrush just can’t reach. Flossing your teeth benefits you by helping to prevent serious conditions like gum disease and tooth decay.
It is vital to your oral health for you to go see your dentist and hygienist every six months.
Other Helpful Ways To Help Your Teeth Stay Healthy
There are two other tools you can use to accompany your brushing in your quest for a healthy mouth:
Mouthwash - There are two kinds of mouthwashes: therapeutic and cosmetic. The kind you want to use, the type that will best help your oral health is therapeutic, and the mouthwash you choose also needs to be an antimicrobial mouthwash
Sugar-free gum - Sugar-free gum can provide significant benefits to your oral health when used in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing
Mouthwash and sugar-free gum are great additions to brushing and flossing but are NOT meant to take the place of these important oral hygiene practices.
You Are In Charge Of Your Mouth!
Just as you are the driver of your own car, controlling the function of the car where it goes and all the proper maintenance to keep it running smoothly, you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your oral health. It’s up to you to brush, floss, eat healthy and avoid sugar, and see your dentist every 6 months to ensure your mouth is healthy. A healthy mouth produces a healthy smile, and smiles keep us going with joy for the journey!!
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