2020 has been a challenging year in many professions, but since October is National Dental Hygiene Month, we’d like to start by acknowledging the hard work and difficulties faced by many dental hygienists and oral health professionals at this time. Like so many other health care workers, they’ve faced both professional challenges and health risks in providing care to their patients, and we salute all of them, particularly our hard-working staff here at Tim Burgiss DDS.
In their honor, we’d like to take this space to talk about dental hygiene, what it is and what it means, and how you can best practice it in your own life.
What is Dental Hygiene?
Dental hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth clean and free of problem-causing entities like debris and food particles, bacteria, and excess sugars and acids. While dental hygiene services are provided by dental hygienists and dentists, dental hygiene is also a personal practice that we should all incorporate into our daily lives.
National Dental Hygiene Month celebrates the importance of dental hygiene and the professionals who make it happen, and has been observed since 2009 due to the work of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.
Practicing Dental Hygiene
So how can you best practice dental hygiene at home? Regular exams, cleanings, and fluoride treatments at your dentist’s office are a big part of it, but what you do in your personal life matters just as much and maybe more. A good personal dental hygiene routine includes the following:
- Regular brushing and flossing are probably the biggest single thing you can do for your oral health. Good brushing and flossing habits go a long way towards preventing many problems before they start by removing food particles and other debris, preventing plaque and tartar buildup, and clearing away bacteria and their wastes. This in turn prevents gingivitis and other forms of gum disease and cavities.
- A good mouthwash, used regularly, can help support brushing and flossing as a means of clearing bacteria from the mouth. Ask your dentist to recommend the right mouthwash for you.
- A healthy diet affects all aspects of our health, but especially the teeth. By avoiding sugary and starchy foods and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, we can prevent oral health issues while enhancing our overall wellness.
- Alcohol and tobacco use can have a damaging effect on the teeth and gums, causing or contributing to gum disease, tooth decay, and discoloration. Reducing or eliminating the use of alcohol and tobacco is a big step in personal oral hygiene.
When to Visit Your Dentist’s Office
Your dentist and their oral hygienists can also help you maintain your dental hygiene and oral health. Regular office visits for exams can help detect and treat problems long before they become serious, and regular cleanings can prevent gum disease and tooth decay. The oral health care professionals in your dentist’s office can also get to know you and your situation and help you develop the best oral health plan for your personal needs.
At Tim Burgiss DDS we strive to offer that kind of personal treatment to each and every patient that comes our way. Get in touch today and make an appointment so that we can help you on your journey to the best possible smile.