Naylors Court Dental Partners

Dental Hygiene Month in Pikesville, VA

October 24, 2022
Posted By: Dr. Mohit Virmani

The month of October hosts numerous changes in season and weather. But it also includes months of sweets and calorie-laden treats that can destroy even the most diligent oral hygiene routine. However, October is also National Dental Hygiene Month, so it's a good time to focus on your current oral hygiene routine and ways to improve it.

 Why Should Good Dental Hygiene Matter?

If you want good physical health, you need strong oral health, which depends on good oral hygiene. Research links good oral health to physical health, while poor oral care can have numerous impacts on your physical health. So if you'd like to enjoy a long and healthy life, you need good oral hygiene.

The scientific explanation for this correlation between dental health and overall well-being is that the tissues in your mouth are very thin and porous. As a result, anything that's in your mouth, whether nutrients or bacteria, will also be transported throughout your body and to your major organs. Poor oral health has been linked to dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

Good oral hygiene doesn't take much time each day – ten minutes is adequate – but it pays dramatic dividends in your health. We'd advise you against risking a serious disease or experiencing an early demise because of poor oral health. If you need suggestions on improving your oral hygiene regimen, your dentist is an excellent source of information on the subject, so ask them.

How Do I Maintain Good Oral Hygiene?

Maintaining good oral hygiene isn't complicated or difficult. It simply requires dedication and discipline. When you're exhausted at night or running late in the morning, skipping or skimping on your oral hygiene might be tempting. We hope you'd avoid that pitfall. Good oral hygiene requires a commitment, and you'll reap the benefits of a healthier body and a healthier mouth.

The American Dental Association recommends the following for your minimum oral hygiene routine:

  • Brush twice daily at a minimum: Brushing after each meal or snack is preferable but not always feasible. If you can't brush more frequently, at least brush in the morning and before bedtime.
  • Floss once daily at a minimum: If you floss only once each day, do so just before bedtime, and don't eat anything after flossing. Otherwise, you defeat its purpose. If you can floss more frequently, even without more frequent brushing, you'll decrease the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once daily: Rinsing with mouthwash can remove the bacteria brushing and flossing missed, so you'll have the freshest breath possible.
  • Get regular dental exams and cleanings: Make sure you have an annual dental exam and cleaning at a minimum, but semi-annual exams are better.
  • Brush your tongue at least daily: Your tongue has a rough surface ideal for retaining bacteria. Although brushing your tongue may initially feel odd, it can significantly reduce the bacteria in your mouth.
  • Brush your teeth for a minimum of two minutes: Visually divide your mouth into four sections: the upper left and right, and the lower left and right. Brush each area for a minimum of 30 seconds to achieve the most benefit from brushing.
  • Rinse well with plain water: When you can't brush and floss after a snack or meal, be sure to rinse your mouth well with plain water until you can brush and floss. If available, you can rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash after you rinse with water, and you'll remove additional bacteria.

When you take a few minutes each day to attend to your oral hygiene regimen, you'll enjoy more robust physical health, and you may live longer. That's why we hope you don't procrastinate regarding good oral hygiene.

Is There a Recommended Way to Brush?

In addition to recommended methods for maintaining good oral health, the ADA suggests the following tips on brushing techniques:

  1. Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your upper teeth
  2. First, brush the top teeth and the outside surfaces
  3. Use gentle, short back-and-forth strokes with a soft-bristled toothbrush
  4. Second, change your toothbrush angle to a vertical position and brush the inner surfaces of your upper and lower teeth
  5. Third, brush your tongue
  6. Change your toothbrush every three months or immediately after you've been sick.

Also, brushing your tongue is an excellent method for removing hidden bacteria. So don't hesitate to brush your tongue even if it feels strange. It's worth it.

Is Flossing Really That Important?

Flossing is as important as brushing because it reaches areas your toothbrush can't. However, the combination of flossing and brushing provides you with the best dental health possible, especially when used in conjunction with other methods such as an antibacterial mouthwash.

Are Rinsing and Using Mouthwash Helpful?

Rinsing your mouth and using an antibacterial mouthwash help remove the maximum number of bacteria from your mouth, especially when you rinse before bedtime or when brushing and flossing aren't feasible. When it comes to your dental health, the importance of brushing, flossing, and rinsing cannot be overstated.

Does It Help to Chew Gum?

The ADA states that using sugar-free chewing gum after meals and snacks can strengthen your tooth enamel and reduce the number of bacteria and food particles in your mouth. So be sure to use sugar-free gum.

How Often Should I Have a Dental Appointment?

We recommend that you have an annual dental exam and cleaning at a minimum. If possible, we recommend a semi-annual dental exam and cleaning. Even if you have a great oral hygiene regimen, your dentist can detect minor issues before they escalate. Oral cancer is a good example of a disease that will have spread by the time you notice its presence. We recommend that all patients who are 18 and older get screened for oral cancer. It's not painful or invasive; your dentist will screen you during your exam.

Do You Need an Appointment in Pikesville, VA?

If you need to schedule an annual exam, an oral cancer screening, or any other procedure, call our office at (410) 267-3039, and we can help you.

For the best oral and physical health possible, call us today. We look forward to speaking with you.

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