October is Dental Hygiene Month, dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of keeping your mouth healthy. Your oral and general health are closely connected. Preventable dental issues can affect your overall wellness negatively. Not to mention, good oral hygiene is essential for preventing tooth loss. You can keep your teeth and gums healthy by following 5 dental hygiene habits.
1. Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice daily, but it’s best to grab your toothbrush after every meal. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean all surfaces of your teeth for 2 minutes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, where food residue and bacteria can linger. Brushing will remove cavity-causing bacteria to keep your pearly whites healthy.
2. Commit to Daily Flossing
Your toothbrush is effective at keeping your teeth healthy, but it can’t reach everywhere in your mouth, like between your teeth. Flossing is the only way to clean hard-to-reach places to prevent gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends flossing your teeth every day. Insert high-quality waxed dental floss between two teeth and form a “C” shape around a tooth. Gently slide the floss to your gum line and back to the top of your tooth. Repeat the process for every tooth.
3. Limit Sugars and Starches
Dentists and healthcare professionals recommend limiting your consumption of sugars and starches. Not only are they bad for your waistline, but they also contribute to tooth decay. If you can’t resist a sweet treat, brush your teeth when you finish or rinse your mouth with water.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Your oral and overall wellness relies on staying hydrated. Dehydration can cause your mouth to become too dry, creating a perfect environment for bacteria growth. It’s best to drink at least eight 8 oz glasses of water daily to stay hydrated and keep your mouth moist. Your dentist recommends drinking water from the tap because it contains fluoride, which is nature’s cavity fighter.
5. Schedule a Cleaning and Checkup
Besides good oral hygiene habits at home, visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. Your dental team will remove any plaque or tartar accumulations. Your dentist will examine your mouth to look for anything concerning. They’ll create a personalized plan to help you reach optimal oral health.
It’s never too late to commit to your dental health. You can invest in a healthy mouth and body by giving your smile the attention it needs.
About Dr. Kamlesh Makwana
Dr. Makwana earned his dental degree from Marquette University and has regularly continued his education to provide the most up-to-date solutions in dentistry. He strives to provide comfortable and personalized dental care to help each patient achieve great oral health. Request an appointment through his website or call (636) 489-1083.