October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Good dental hygiene is pretty much what keeps your mouth healthy. From brushing regularly to dental check-ups every six months, practicing good dental hygiene is critical to not only oral health but also to our overall health.

So what does good dental hygiene consist of? According to mouthhealthy.org, there are four routines that help maintain good dental hygiene: brush, floss, rinse and chew.

While most people know they need to brush their teeth at least twice a day, many don’t brush the right way or for long enough. Here is the proper brushing technique from colgate.com:

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes
Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

In addition to proper brushing, here are a few other things you can do to help maintain your smile.

  1. Drink lots of water.
  2. Avoid sugary food and drink such as juice and dessert.
  3. Visit your dentist regularly. Every 6 months is recommended.
  4. Brushing alone will not do the job. Flossing is crucial for getting food particles that are stuck between your teeth.
  5. Chew sugar-free gum. Not only does sugar-free gum help curb bad breath by increasing saliva production, but it also helps prevent tooth decay.