When you think of October, what comes to mind? Fall, pumpkins, or Halloween… Did you know that its National Dental Hygiene Month? It was created to increase awareness of the importance of oral care to your mouth and body.
The Daily 4
You’ve heard it before, brush twice a day. For best results, use a soft or ultra-soft bristled toothbrush, and use a rotational stroke, pushing the gum onto the teeth (please look at the demo on my website – much easier to understand). Do NOT do circles or scrubbing or lateral motions with the brush – this will damage the gum around your teeth or implants.
How important is flossing? Brushing your teeth doesn’t completely clean your teeth. Flossing removes about 65% of plaque from your teeth, brushing about 35%. Do both carefully, and you can remove 100%! To be really effective, brush first, then floss, then brush again, always using correct technique. Don’t do anything else when flossing or brushing – look in the mirror to make sure that you are doing it correctly. Again, I ask that you look at flossing and brushing videos on my website.
Do you use mouthwash? It is no replacement for actually removing plaque with floss and brushing, but rinsing with any fluid is always beneficial. No OTC mouthwash is superior to simple salt water rinses, but it tends to taste better. If you use a rinse, fluoride is good, but avoid the tartar control rinses (and toothpaste).
Chewing? Yeah, you’re probably thinking “how does that help my teeth?” Chewing sugar-free gum after snacks or meals stimulates saliva glands that help clean your teeth.
Also, this month is for giving our hygienists a special shout out! Every day they work hard to make our smiles healthy. Share your healthy smile, tag us and use #DentalHygieneMonth
With Halloween around the corner, you might be spooked on how to maintain your healthy smile. Of course, by now you know that candy isn’t good for your teeth. That doesn’t mean don’t have any, remember moderation is key! What are the chances of people giving out sugar-free candies? Unlikely due to tradition, and some would say that no candy takes the fun out of trick-or-treating. Dr. Rogge gives packages of dry-roasted nuts and balloons and puzzles to kids on Halloween, and has never received one complaint! In fact, he has had children return to get more treats and has received compliments from parents. Some sugary candies are worse than others. You can separate the candy into piles to limit sugar intake.
Gummy candy sticks to the teeth longer, and it increases the risk for developing a cavity. Some examples are taffy, gummy bears, or gummy worms. Sour candies are a double shock to your teeth, they have a lot of sugar and are highly acidic.
The number one concern for hard candy is biting into it breaking or damaging your teeth. Candy in your mouth for a long time can also bring more sugar into your mouth. Enjoy the Halloween treats in “bursts”, then brush well afterward. Try to limit the amount of time sugar is in your mouth – the longer sugar and acid are in your mouth, the more cavities can occur.
Surprisingly, dark chocolate is a better choice since it has less sugar and dissolves quickly. It also contains some calcium, a beneficial nutrient. Also, powdery candy is not sticky and dissolves quickly giving bacteria less time to cling to teeth.
Even though the Halloween season is coming to an end, taking proper care of your teeth is never ending! Go through your kid’s pile of candy and make sure they are eating in moderation. Parents should avoid eating too much of the leftover candy as well – we all know how tempting candy can be!
Be sure to always brush twice a day, floss, rinse, and keep sugary snacks to a minimum. To celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month with us, schedule your dental checkups today!
762 Independence Blvd., Ste. 500
Virginia Beach, VA 23455 (map)