October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Dentists throughout the United States are working to encourage patients to practice good oral habits at home while also continuing to maintain regular six-month dental checkups and cleanings. If you want to take better care of your smile and regain control of your oral health, here are four oral hygiene tips from Indy Dental Group that you can begin to incorporate into your daily routine to ensure a healthier smile year-round.
Don’t Forget to Use Mouthwash
Brushing and flossing are essential but so is using mouthwash. Whether you purchase it off the shelf at your local drug store or you receive a prescription-based rinse from your dentist, this vital component to any good oral hygiene routine does three things:
- It minimizes how much acid is left in your mouth
- It reaches crevices and other small areas that your toothbrush can’t effectively clean
- It encourages remineralization
If you’re worried about gum disease or sensitivity, your dentist at Indy Dental Group can recommend specific brands designed to combat these common problems.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated no matter the time of year is important. But not only does it increase your energy and help you maintain a healthy weight, but it also encourages saliva production. This is important because these glands help to flush out bacteria and harmful particles inside the mouth. When consuming sugars or starches, your saliva can continue to rinse away anything that might try to adhere to your tooth enamel and cause decay or gum disease. Drinking plenty of water will reduce your risk of dry mouth, which can become a breeding ground for bad bacteria.
Don’t Rush Your Brushing Technique
It is advised that you brush your teeth for two full minutes, specifically, 30 seconds in each quadrant. By rushing your routine to hurry out the door, you run the risk of missing plaque that may be building on your teeth or around your gums. If left alone, it can result in tartar accumulations, which can lead to early stages of gum disease (i.e., gingivitis). You also do not want to brush too hard, as this can damage your teeth and cause gum recession. Make sure to take your time. If you use an electric toothbrush, most have timers, making the process easy. If you use a manual brush, set a timer on your phone, so you know when you’re finished.
Find a Flossing Technique That Works For You
While dental floss is highly effective at removing bacteria from in-between your teeth, there are other ways that can make the process easier and just as successful. Maybe you need a dental flosser to help make this part of your routine less strenuous. Or you could try a water irrigator (i.e., Waterpik) that is designed to push and pulsate to effectively remove food and other particles from in between your teeth. Finding a solution that works for you is important, so don’t be afraid to ask your dentist for help.
Keeping these helpful tips in mind will put you on the path to greater oral health in the coming year.
About the Practice
The dental team at Indy Dental Group wants you to feel confident about your smile. Committed to providing exceptional dental services, our preventive care makes it possible for our patients to maintain healthier, more beautiful smiles throughout the year. Our skilled hygienists, expert dental professionals, and compassionate staff work together to ensure all individuals receive personalized care and valuable information that encourages better oral hygiene at home. If you would like helpful tips to keep your teeth and gums decay and disease-free, contact us at (317) 846-6125.