With the calendar turning to the month of October today, it’s time to think about Halloween and other fall festivities. However, it’s also time to think about dental hygiene, as October is also National Dental Hygiene Month.
During this month, it’s important to focus on the pillars of oral health though brushing, flossing, rinsing and chewing.
Brush – Brushing for 2 minutes, twice a day is the single most important method of reducing plaque and preventing cavities, gingivitis and other plaque-related oral diseases. It’s important to follow proper brushing techniques to avoid further damage to your teeth and gums.
Floss – Flossing is another daily process that encourages proper dental hygiene. While brushing your teeth is important, it doesn’t necessarily clean all your teeth. Flossing removes plaque and food particles that cannot be reached by the toothbrush, particularly under the gumline and between the teeth.
Rinse – Rinsing your mouth each day with anti-microbial mouth rinses is another step to prevent gum disease. Really teeth only make up less than half of the surfaces in your mouth. Thus brushing and flossing only goes so far to clean teeth and gums. It’s always important to finish your oral care routine with an antiseptic mouthwash.
Chew – Chewing sugar-free gum is actually important for good oral health. One of the most important defenses against tooth decay is saliva. Saliva fights cavities, neutralizes plaque acids, remineralizes enamel to strengthen teeth and washes away food particles. Chewing gum stimulates saliva in the mouth and creates a more protected mouth.
So while many of you are planning to eat a bunch of candy by the end of the month, remember that it’s dental hygiene month too. Be carful of those pearly whites or else you might end up a toothless ghoul for Halloween.