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Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month!

October 6, 2022.Brianna Spartz.0 Likes.0 Comments

Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month!

mother and daughter brushing teeth together

October is typically most recognized for Halloween costumes and trick-or-treating with bags full of candy. But did you know October is also National Dental Hygiene Month? An entire month dedicated to promoting healthy mouths, gums, and teeth. All of which allow us to enjoy a little well-deserved sweet treat at the end of the month! Here are a few ways to celebrate – and better understand dental hygienists’ role in supporting healthy and happy smiles.

Oral and overall health are linked

It is essential to keep up good dental hygiene regardless of age. Your oral health is connected to your overall health. Studies show that gum disease is linked to many health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. In fact, more than 120 diseases can be detected by the dentist during a routine dental exam — an important reason to visit the dentist for routine exams. Learn more about the link between oral and overall health.

Tips for keeping your smile healthy

In addition to regularly visiting your dentist for a cleaning and exam, here are a few tips to keep your smile healthy this October and beyond:

  • Be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each time and floss once a day. Doing so helps keep the surfaces and areas between your teeth clean and cavity-free.
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly. Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if you have been sick or begin to see significant wear.
  • Eat nutrient-rich foods. Vitamins and minerals in fresh fruit and vegetables can keep teeth and gums healthy. In addition, calcium-rich foods like milk and leafy greens are crucial for oral health, as calcium builds strong teeth and bones.
  • Choose lower-sugar substitutes. Sugar is a major contributing factor in the development of tooth decay. Try fruit with a dollop of whipped cream or fruit-infused water as a substitution for ice cream and flavored sodas and juices. Condiments — like ketchup and BBQ sauce – can also hide excess sugar. Look at nutritional labels and serving sizes to enjoy in moderation.
  • Wear a mouthguard. Protect your teeth and mouth from injuries by wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports, engaging in rollerblading, and skateboarding. Mouthguards can also help prevent teeth from grinding while you sleep.

The vital role of dental hygienists in your dental hygiene routine

From performing regular cleanings to offering guidance on oral health care habits, dental hygienists play an essential role in helping patients maintain healthy smiles.

What does a dental hygienist do?

Dental hygienists serve many vital roles:

  • Teaches patients how to practice good oral hygiene.
  • Applies fluoride and sealants to help protect teeth.
  • Performs patient screenings, such as X-rays.
  • Counsels patients on nutrition and its impact on oral health.
  • Removes tartar and plaque (hard and soft deposits) from teeth.
  • Keeps track of patient care and treatment plans
  • Identifies if any changes in your health may impact your oral health.

The next time you are at the dentist’s office for your regular cleaning, remember to thank your dental hygienist and ask them about their favorite oral health tip or routine.

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