It’s time to replace that old toothbrush and restock your mouthwash because October is Dental Hygiene Awareness Month! This October is the perfect time to re-evaluate your dental hygiene regimen and give your teeth and gums a little extra attention. Dental Hygiene Month is for everyone – young and old – to celebrate the importance of a healthy smile and the role that dental hygienists play in keeping your teeth clean. How can you get involved in Dental Hygiene Awareness Month and why is it so important to spread awareness about great oral hygiene?
National Dental Hygiene Month has been around since 2009, but don’t worry if you’re only just hearing about it, there’s never a bad time to improve your dental hygiene regimen!
Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things for great oral health: it gets rid of plaque and reduces the risk of developing cavities and gum disease. You should be brushing your teeth twice a day, once after you’ve finished your breakfast and once before you go to bed. Each brushing session should last for two minutes and it’s important to use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Learning the correct brushing technique is something you only need to do once to ensure that your teeth receive the most benefit from brushing.
Here are the five steps for effective brushing:
- Position your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle towards the gums
- Move the toothbrush in short strokes gently back and forth
- Brush the outer and chewing surfaces of your teeth
- Adjust your toothbrush to a vertical position and brush the inner surfaces with small strokes up and down
- Finish by brushing your tongue to get rid of bacteria
You should floss your teeth once a day, ideally before you go to bed. Flossing is crucial for cleaning parts of your mouth that your toothbrush can’t reach. When you floss, you remove plaque and small particles of food that get stuck between your teeth, which helps to lower the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you don’t remove plaque, over time it’ll harden and become tartar.
For good dental hygiene, mouthwash shouldn’t be used as an alternative to brushing or as an optional extra: you should use good mouthwash to rinse your mouth regularly after you brush and floss your teeth. Brushing and flossing target your teeth, while mouthwash gets rid of bacteria from other areas of your mouth. The mouthwash will help to prevent gum disease and keep your breath fresh.