October is the month we break out devilishly decorated jack-o-lanterns, spooky stories, spindly spiders, and wicked witches. Yet, for some people, nothing is more frightening than a trip to the dentist. Maybe that is why October is National Dental Hygiene Month.
No matter the reason, it is supremely important to recognize National Dental Hygiene Month and the role that good oral care plays in not just a healthy smile but in overall healthy life. The month-long campaign promoted by the American Dental Hygienists Association doesn’t just target sugar-crazed kids. It also aims to promote oral hygiene awareness to everyone. The campaign also highlights the crucial role dental hygienists play in keeping our teeth clean and healthy.
What Do Dental Hygienists Do?
Dental hygienists serve an important function and are often the first line of defense when battling tooth decay, gum disease, and oral health problems. The American Dental Association outlines how dental hygienists are typically responsible for basic dental screening procedures, taking dental x-rays, cleaning teeth and gums, removing plaque build-up, and teaching patients about good oral health practices. That is a lot to put on one person’s plate.
Seeing as how dental hygienists are often one of the first people you encounter in a dental office, they also set the tone for the office. Having a smiling hygienist that is friendly, gentle, and compassionate can go a long way to making nervous patients feel at ease.
What Are the Elements of Good Oral Health?
There is more to good oral health than just brushing your teeth. Good oral health includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Good oral health is also about the tools and techniques that you use. Consider how these elements contribute to good oral health:
- Brushing. Regular brushing is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Typically, you want to aim for the morning after breakfast or a cup of coffee and then again at night before bed.
- Flossing. Too often, flossing is a skipped step. Ideally, you should floss at least once per day, preferably at the end of the day, to remove food particles from between your teeth and gums.
- Mouthwash. Mouthwash can also help contribute to good oral health. Use it before brushing to loosen food particles. You may want to avoid using mouthwash after you brush because it can wash away the fluoride you just put on your teeth.
- Give Your Teeth Healthy Foods. October is unofficial candy month, but be sure to chomp on some healthy foods as well. Foods and drinks high in sugar can both erode tooth enamel and give harmful bacteria in the mouth the fuel they need to grow and multiply.
What’s Good for the Teeth is Good for the Body
Yes, good oral health is great for teeth, but it does a body good, too. Consider some of the detrimental effects that poor oral hygiene can have on your mouth and overall health and well-being:
At Babylon Dental Care, we know you’ll be celebrating October with food, fun, and a horror movie marathon. However, consider adding “dental appointment” to your October to-do list. Our caring dental team goes above and beyond to make a dental visit feel friendly, not frightening.
Contact us today to book your next appointment and celebrate October the right way by helping us acknowledge National Dental Hygiene Month.