October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Patient who has undergone tmj treatment

This month, we want to encourage you to pay extra special attention to your smile because it’s National Dental Hygiene Month.

Although our team always wants our patients to maintain the best smiles possible, this blog post is going to focus on some things you can do to keep your smile in great shape. As always, call us at 423-380-0681 if you have any questions or if you need to make an appointment.

Brush Your Teeth Thoroughly Each Day

Most of us know we should brush our teeth regularly, but did you know that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time?

The easiest way to ensure you’re brushing your teeth long enough is by setting a timer on your phone or watching the second hand on a watch or clock. There is even a toothbrush that has a built-in timer that makes it super simple to brush thoroughly.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind when brushing:

  • Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short, gentle up-and-down strokes to brush your teeth.
  • Divide your mouth into quadrants and brush each quadrant for 30 seconds before moving on. The best way to think of this is to first focus on your top outer teeth, then top inner, bottom outer, and finally your bottom inner teeth.
  • Be sure to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and help you maintain fresh breath.

Good brushing will go a long way toward keeping your smile in the best shape possible.

Floss Daily For a Healthy Smile

We know…flossing your teeth is not at the top of the list of your favorite things to do. However, flossing is important for removing trapped food particles that can allow bacteria to flourish and cause cavities and gum disease.

Here is the best way to floss:

  • Take a piece of floss that’s about 18 inches long and wrap the ends around both of your middle fingers, leaving about two inches in the middle to work with.
  • Using your thumbs and forefingers, work the floss gently in between each of your teeth.
  • Use up-and-down motions as well as back-and-forth movement to remove any hidden debris. Move to a new section of floss as needed.
  • Curve the floss around each tooth to clean gently below the gumline, but be careful not to irritate your sensitive gum tissue.

If you don’t floss, you’re actually neglecting 40 percent of your teeth surfaces! That’s why flossing is so important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Rinse For a Cleaner, Healthier Mouth

Even if you follow a good regimen of brushing and flossing, you’re not actually cleaning your entire mouth. Plaque and biofilm can also live on your gums, tongue, and the roof of your mouth.

Buy a good quality mouthwash or rinse that kills germs but doesn’t contain any alcohol. Alcohol can actually interfere with saliva production as it has a drying effect on your mouth. Saliva is important for washing away food particles and debris that can become trapped in between your teeth.

Be sure to follow the directions on the package of your rinse or mouthwash, but a general guideline is to rinse for at least 30 seconds to a minute. You’ll be doing your part toward keeping your entire mouth clean, plus you’ll enjoy fresher, more pleasant breath.

Chew Sugarless Gum After Eating

This one is pretty easy to do. Clinical studies have proven that chewing sugarless gum stimulates the production of saliva that is crucial to keeping your teeth clean. So after each meal or snack just pop a piece of sugarless gum into your mouth and chew for at least 20 minutes.

The increase in saliva will also help neutralize acids left behind by bacteria as well as deliver disease-fighting substances throughout your mouth. Plus, you won’t have to worry about offending those around you with bad breath after you’ve just indulged in your favorite onion- or garlic-heavy lunch!

Visit Smiles of Chattanooga Twice a Year For a Checkup

No matter how well you take care of your teeth at home, it’s still important to maintain professional dental care. Regular dental cleanings and exams allow our team to monitor your oral health and provide early treatment for any problems we spot.

We provide a wide variety of dental services here, so no matter what your smile needs, we can handle it. Our services include:

Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month by doing your part to keep your smile in the best shape possible. And be sure to call us today at 423-380-0681 to schedule your next dental visit. You can also request an appointment using our online form.

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