What is Dental Hygiene Month?
The American Dental Hygiene Association has worked hard to designate October Dental Hygiene Month. The goal of this month is two fold. The two primary goals are to bring awareness of how we can improve our oral health, as well as to celebrate the hard work of dental hygienists, like our very own Christi, Jane, and Marie.
The goal of brushing is to start removing the bulk of plaque and debris off your teeth and gums. The best tool for the job is a toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes such as the Oral B or Sonicare work best, but if you use a manual toothbrush use one with soft bristles. Proper brushing technique is critical to maximize the benefits of brushing. Many are surprised when we say that all you need is a light touch while brushing. A 2 or 3 finger grip should provide sufficient pressure to remove all the soft debris from the teeth. Additional pressure may actually expedite recession, wear away root surfaces, and cause damage to gum tissues, without removing any more debris including hardened bits.
Angle the the toothbrush 45 degrees between your teeth and your gums. This will allow the bristles to reach between the gum tissue and teeth. Set a 2 minute timer, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy mouth.
Considering that 40% of your tooth can only be cleaned by flossing, it is critical to nail down a great flossing technique. Take floss and saw it between your teeth. Once you’re through the contact, make sure you hug the floss against each side of the tooth while you move in an up and down direction. If there is recession, it is critical to follow flossing with the use go betweens to help scrub hard to reach surfaces.
The last step to a great hygiene regimen is rinsing. When selecting a great rinse, we look for something that shouldn’t be on the label — alcohol. Alcohol in rinses do have an antibacterial effect, but they have a tendency to dry out your gums. If you use an alcohol rinse for longer than you should, you’ll start to notice a burning sensation. Alcohol free rinses such as Crest Pro-health and ACT Alcohol Free do a great job of disinfecting and eliminating bacteria that cause odor in those spaces between your teeth and gums.