October is National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Posted by Dr. Thomas Flavin Oct 19,2020

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Dental hygiene is all about maintaining healthy teeth. It includes brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups.

What is National Dental Hygiene Month?

During October, dentists across the nation take part in National Dental Hygiene Month to educate the public about the importance of regular dental hygiene. The American Dental Association sponsors this event each year and emphasizes the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other serious oral health issues. At our dental practice, we stress the importance of preventive dental care for a healthy smile that is pain-free and functional for a lifetime.

Good oral hygiene begins with a healthy diet and lifestyle. We recommend visiting our office at least twice a year for a routine checkup and cleaning to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you suffer from advanced gum disease or require more extensive treatment, we may recommend more frequent visits. These visits allow us to clean your teeth more thoroughly, stopping plaque buildup before it has a chance to cause damage.

In addition to at-home care and routine checkups, practicing proper brushing and flossing techniques is essential in preventing cavities and gum disease. Our team can help you identify areas of weakness and provide recommendations for improvement so you can maintain optimal oral health.

Why is dental hygiene important?

Your mouth is the gateway to your body. It is the beginning and end of many processes, and when your mouth is healthy, it improves your overall health. Bacteria in the mouth can cause infections that affect the rest of your body. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily helps to remove these bacteria before they cause harm.

Daily brushing and flossing also help to prevent cavities by getting rid of plaque buildup on teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that is filled with bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. When you don’t brush or floss, the bacteria begin to eat away at the enamel of your tooth, causing holes to form in them. Cavities can lead to other more serious oral health concerns, such as gum disease and even tooth loss.

How do dentists measure dental hygiene?

Dentists use several methods to measure a patient’s oral health, including x-rays and intraoral cameras. An x-ray film is placed inside the mouth above the teeth, and an image is taken. The film shows the dentist any hidden decay, bone loss, or tumors that can’t be seen by the naked eye. With intraoral cameras, the dentist will insert a small camera into your mouth to take images of your teeth. The dentist can zoom in on specific areas of the teeth to assess the damage and use the images to discuss treatment options with patients. During your bi-annual cleanings, your dentist will also perform a visual inspection of your teeth to check for cavities or other damage not visible to the naked eye.

So, this October, make a commitment to your oral health by reminding yourself about the importance of good oral hygiene practices!

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