Many of our patients may not be aware of it, but October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Now is a great time to pay extra special attention to your smile so that it stays bright and healthy all year long.
You know you can trust Bell Dental Group to help you maintain the best smile possible – we’ve been doing that for Cincinnati-area residents for many years. But now we want to shift the focus a bit and give you a few tips on what you can do to keep your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful.
Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day For Two Minutes
Most of us know we should brush our teeth at least twice a day, but do we actually do it? Good, thorough teeth brushing forms the cornerstone of your at-home dental hygiene routine. Brushing is important to remove bacteria, plaque, and hidden food particles that can all lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Here are a few key things to remember when brushing:
- Brush for two minutes two times a day. The easiest way to brush for the full length of time is to set a timer on your phone or use a watch or clock with a second hand.
- Divide your mouth into quadrants (top outside, top inside, bottom outside, bottom inside) and brush each quadrant for 30 seconds before moving on.
- Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
- Brush up and down in short gentle strokes. Be sure to include the chewing surfaces as well.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
Good teeth brushing will go a long way toward keeping your teeth healthy and helping you avoid unnecessary dental work down the road.
Floss at Least Once a Day
For one reason or another, flossing is one important part of at-home care that many people neglect. However, flossing is important to remove food particles, debris, and plaque that can hide in between your teeth.
Here’s the best way to floss:
- Begin with about 18 inches of floss, either waxed or unwaxed.
- Wrap the ends of the floss around your middle fingers, leaving about two inches of floss that you can use.
- Hold on to the floss with your forefinger and thumb.
- Work the floss in between each tooth, using both up-and-down motions as well as back-and-forth.
- Curve the floss around each tooth so you can reach just below the gumline, being careful not to irritate your gum tissue.
If you don’t floss, you’re neglecting about 40 percent of your teeth surfaces! Flossing at least once a day will help rid your mouth of hidden bacteria and plaque that can lead to cavities and gum disease. Your teeth will thank you for it!
Use a Rinse or Mouthwash Daily
When we brush and floss, we’re not actually cleaning out entire mouths. While these routines are great for our teeth, biofilm and plaque can also build up on our gums, tongue, and roof of the mouth.
It’s important to use a good-quality rinse or mouthwash at least once a day to kill bacteria and remove plaque. Be sure to buy a rinse that is alcohol-free, as alcohol has a drying effect and can upset the balance of saliva in your mouth. It’s important to have enough saliva to wash away food particles and debris that can linger in your mouth.
Always follow the directions given by the manufacturer of the rinse, but a good rule of thumb is to rinse for at least 30 seconds to a minute. That gives the rinse enough time to do its job to keep your mouth healthy.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum to Help Clean Your Teeth
The next time you’re at a grocery or convenience store, pick up a pack of your favorite sugar-free gum. Then, after each meal just pop a piece into your mouth and chew for at least 20 minutes.
Reliable clinical studies have shown that chewing gum (Make sure it’s always sugar-free and never sugared!) stimulates the production of saliva. And as we know, having enough saliva is important to help keep our teeth clean. However, saliva also helps to neutralize the acids left behind by bacteria. Left unchecked, these acids can eventually form cavities.
Plus, chewing gum will freshen your breath and help you avoid any embarrassing encounters caused by what you just ate for lunch!
Visit Us Twice a Year For a Checkup
Even if you do the best job possible of taking care of your teeth at home, there is no substitute for having good-quality, professional dental care. That’s why it’s so important to schedule a routine dental cleaning and exam at Bell Dental Group every six months.
These visits will allow our dental experts to keep an eye on your oral health and make sure there aren’t any problems developing. If we do spot a cavity, gum disease, or other problem, we can provide early treatment to prevent these small problems from worsening and potentially causing bigger damage.
During your exam, we’ll give your mouth, teeth, and gums a thorough checkover, plus we’ll take digital X-rays to get an up-close look at your teeth roots, bones, and nerves.
We Can Handle All Your Dental Needs Right Here
No matter what we might find or what kind of care your smile needs, we can take care of it right here. If you’ve been coming to see us for a while, you probably know Drs. David Bell, Chuck Bell, and Maggie Ernst.
However, we have a new addition to our dental team, Dr. Joyce Crowe. She says she has fallen in love with Cincinnati and looks forward to helping our patients maintain their best smiles possible!
Below are a few types of dental care we provide our patients:
- Restorative dental care like fillings, crowns, and bridges
- Implant dentistry to replace your missing teeth
- Cosmetic dentistry like veneers, teeth whitening, and Invisalign
- TMD treatment to relieve nagging pain in your jaw
- Sleep apnea treatment to help you rest better at night.
Give your smile the care it needs, not just for National Dental Hygiene Month, but all year long. Call us today to schedule your next checkup: 513-802-9440.