October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and dentists around the country are encouraging the public to take a more active role in preventing oral maladies by practicing excellent dental care. As you continue reading, learn how dental cleanings in Longmeadow and other proactive approaches to maintaining your oral care pay dividends down the road!
The Value of a Dental Cleaning
One of the ways to shore-up your oral health is to visit your dentist semi-annually to have your teeth cleaned. The dental hygienist will tediously remove the plaque and tartar that would otherwise work to decay your teeth and eventually seep beneath the gumline to cause problems like gum disease and tooth loss.
Brushing Your Way to Excellent Oral Health!
Your oral hygiene should, at a minimum, consist of brushing your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush twice a day for two minutes each session.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind:
- To protect your gums, choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- As you approach your teeth, place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
- Begin by brushing the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- Tilt the toothbrush vertically to carefully clean the inside of your teeth.
- Conclude by brushing your tongue gently to remove any excess bacteria.
Why is Oral Hygiene Important?
The primary value of oral hygiene is that it removes harmful bacteria from your mouth, teeth and gums. This is important considering that many dental health issues like gum disease, oral cancer and many others start as simple cavities that are created from bacteria growth.
Thus, National Dental Hygiene Month places emphasis on the preventive properties of all forms of dental hygiene.
Other Forms of Dental Hygiene
Brushing your teeth is not the only method available for fortifying your oral health. Here are some other ways:
- Tongue Scraping – A tongue scraper is a special tool designed to remove the bacteria that settle between the papillae – the tiny bumps along your tongue. The device is placed at the back of the tongue and as it is gently moved toward the front of your mouth, it scrapes the surface to remove bacteria.
- Mouthwash – While using a mouthwash is not a sufficient substitution to brushing your teeth, it can provide some temporary protection from bacteria accumulation and is useful for flushing your mouth after a meal.
- Dental Floss – While brushing your teeth is always the first practice that comes to mind when thinking of dental hygiene, flossing is equally important. Using the flexible material, you are able to maneuver between your teeth to remove hidden debris.
- Dental Pick – If you wear braces, then dental floss won’t work. An alternative is to use a dental pick. It provides a way to still gain access to the tight spaces between your teeth without damaging the brackets and wires.
When you consistently perform excellent oral hygiene, you are not only protecting your dental health, but you are also taking a stand against such diseases as Alzheimer’s, oral cancer, pancreatic cancer and several other potential health threats.
To get on the road to superb dental health and learn more pointers on how to improve your oral hygiene, reach out to your dentist in East Longmeadow to schedule a visit today.
About the Author
Dr. Steve Scannell is a graduate of the State University of New York Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and for nearly 30 years, he has been providing expert dental care. He helps patients enjoy the best in dental health by taking the time to both educate and empower them with ways to improve their oral care. Dr. Scannell treats patients at his private practice, and he can be reached for more information through his website.