It’s National Dental Hygiene Month. Every October, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and Colgate sponsor a month-long celebration for dental hygienists around the country. Dental hygienists are crucial members of your healthcare team and are responsible for keeping patients’ mouths (and bodies) healthy.
What is a Dental Hygienist?
Hygienists help patients develop and maintain their best oral health. When a patient comes into the office, a dental hygienist cleans their teeth, examines their gums for signs of gum disease, and provides patients with preventative care, such as fluoride treatments. They can also assist dentists with other dental work and procedures.
But, National Hygiene Month is more than just celebrating dental hygienists. It’s about maintaining good oral hygiene. The focus of National Dental Hygiene Month is on the vital daily habits that promote healthy teeth and gums. These are:
- Brushing. The ADHA recommends using a soft toothbrush to brush twice a day, once in the morning after breakfast and then again in the evening just before going to bed, using a toothpaste containing fluoride.
- Flossing. This should be done once daily, optimally just before going to sleep, when trapped food particles can do the most damage.
- Eating healthy. A diet in accordance with the government’s food pyramid promotes oral health by cutting down on sugars and contributing to overall physical health and includes whole grains and dairy products, vegetables, fruits, and nuts, with meat, fish, and sweets in moderation.
- Use an antimicrobial mouthwash. This should be done with daily brushing.
While brushing and flossing your teeth are both extremely important, don’t forget to schedule your biannual dental checkups. A dental checkup isn’t just a routine cleaning; it involves an oral cancer screening, an evaluation of your bite, dental X-rays (when needed), and fillings when a cavity is present. Most dental checkups include oral hygiene instructions and a thorough evaluation of your teeth with high-tech tools and technology to ensure that your oral health needs are met.
Our team at Mountainview Periodontics and Periodontics of Cherry Creek offices care about your oral health and happiness, and we use only the best tools and equipment to care for your teeth. Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month by scheduling your next dental checkup. Your teeth deserve to be taken care of, so call today to ensure that your oral health is on the right track!