Happy October, all of you! It’s one of the year’s spookiest seasons, and one of the most appalling things we can think of is having problems with our teeth and gums. Because October is the National Dental Hygiene Month, by recognizing the importance of your daily hygiene activities, we want to promote a healthy mouth for everyone. A healthy, beautiful smile is built on good teeth and gums!
The mouth is full of living bacteria, some of which feed on carbohydrates and sugar drinks and survive on them. To build a sticky bacterial film (plaque), these can release acids mixed with saliva and food particles. When plaque builds up, it damages and weakens the enamel of the tooth, causing decay and cavities through the softer dentin and tooth pulp below it.
Teeth with significant decay also require treatment with the root canal to save the tooth from the serious root-taking infection. A root canal eliminates bad bacteria and dead tissue that may otherwise cause the tooth to be extracted.
– Tooth pain or pain when chewing
– Sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks
– Sensitive gums
– Gum infection
– Darkened or chipped teeth
– Swollen lymph nodes
– Oral trauma
Did you know that China invented the first known bristle toothbrush in 1948? The original toothbrush used boar hairs attached to bamboo or bone handles, unlike the smooth nylon-bristled brushes we use today. We don’t know about you, but we appreciate the toothbrushes of today!
You’ll want to begin by shielding your mouth from plaque to avoid damaged teeth. Drinks such as soda, fruit juices, sports drinks, carbonated water, and other acidic or sweetened foods, for example, are almost a lifeline for oral bacteria that bind your teeth. Restrict these drinks to minimize plaque, and when you drink them, use a straw to reduce tooth enamel contact. Tea, milk, low-sugar vegetable juice, and unsweetened black and green tea are the best choices.
This year’s National Dental Hygiene Awareness Month focuses on four habits you need to practice daily:
Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush (no boars hair!) twice a day for two minutes every session. You want to wash them gently without damaging the tissues of the enamel or soft gum. Make sure the head and form of the brush fit securely in your mouth so that bacteria and food particles can be extracted from the back areas. Hold your brush in your gums at an angle of 45 degrees. Use quick strokes, move the toothbrush back and forth to wash all tooth surfaces where the food is chewed–outside, inside and top of the molars. Make sure the grooves and crevices are polished. Clean the inside of your front teeth with up-and-down-strokes.
Clean your teeth once a day with a variety of flossing tool (one that makes you want to floss every day) to get rid of your toothbrush’s dental plaque. Plaque accumulation may cause it to harden into tartar or calculus to be removed using special tools by a dental hygienist.
Through brushing or flossing alone, certain parts of the mouth can not get rid of plaque. Regular mouthwash rinsing kills bacteria to prevent tooth decay and gum disease (oral tissue infection) from taking control. A non-alcoholic antimicrobial rinse that is appropriate for your needs can be recommended by your dentist.
Talking of dry mouth, did you know that 20 minutes after you eat sugarless gum chewing reduces the chances of deterioration of the tooth? That’s because chewing encourages balanced saliva production by stimulating saliva glands. When rinsing off food particles and bacterial waste, the saliva plays a vital role and neutralizes the toxins from oral bacteria.
This month is a good time to toss out your old worn-out toothbrush and find a flossing method you will enjoy using every day. You’ll also want to thank your dental hygienist the next time you see them for all their efforts to make your smile the best it can be!