You may not be aware of it, but October is National Dental Hygiene Month. That means it’s time to seriously take your oral health into consideration.

At Highland Advanced Dental Care, we always strive to deliver our patients the best smile care possible when they come in for a visit. Now, we want to shift the focus and give you a few pointers on how to do your part to keep your mouth healthy and your smile looking its best.

Be Sure to Brush Twice a Day For Two Minutes

Most of us know we should brush our teeth twice a day, yet many of us don’t actually do it. Brushing is important to clean plaque and bacteria from your teeth so that cavities and gum disease have less chance of developing.

Here are some important things to keep in mind about brushing your teeth:

  • Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
  • Use gentle strokes and brush up and down.
  • Make sure to brush all the surfaces of each tooth – the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces.
  • Don’t forget your tongue. A quick brush on it will help remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

The easiest way to make sure you brush a full two minutes is by setting a timer on your phone or using a watch with a second hand. Divide your mouth into quadrants (top inner, top outer, bottom inner, bottom outer) and brush each quadrant for 30 seconds before moving on.

A good, thorough brushing twice daily will go a long way toward helping prevent cavities and gum disease.

Floss At Least Once a Day

We understand…it’s easy to forget about flossing, the less enjoyable counterpart to brushing. However, flossing your teeth regularly is an important step in your oral hygiene routine. It will help remove trapped food particles and debris from between your teeth that can allow bacteria to form.

Here’s the best way to floss:

  • Start with about 18 inches of floss, either waxed or unwaxed – it’s up to you.
  • Wrap most of the floss around your two middle fingers, leaving about two inches of floss to work with.
  • Use your thumb and forefinger to hold the floss, then use both up-and-down and back-and-forth movements between each tooth.
  • Gently curve the floss around each tooth so you can get just below the gumline, but be careful not to irritate your gum tissue.

Flossing will remove debris in between your teeth that brushing alone will miss. Without flossing, you’re missing out on cleaning a full 40 percent of your teeth surfaces!

Rinse At Least Once Daily

Brushing and flossing are great ways to clean your teeth, but they don’t actually do anything about the germs in the rest of your mouth. Biofilm and plaque can hang out on your gums, tongue, and roof of your mouth, too.

That’s why it’s important to rinse your mouth with a gentle mouthwash every day. Be sure to buy one that kills germs but doesn’t contain any alcohol. Alcohol actually has a drying effect on your mouth and can disturb the balance of saliva that is so critical to washing away food debris and bacteria.

Always follow the directions on the package of the rinse, however a good rule of thumb is to rinse your mouth for 30 seconds to a minute. Doing so will help remove harmful plaque and bacteria that can wreak havoc on your smile if left alone.

Chew Sugarless Gum For a Healthier Smile

After you eat, simply chew a piece of sugarless gum for at least 20 minutes. Gum chewing stimulates the production of saliva, which in turn will help remove any leftover food particles in your mouth.

Having enough saliva is also critical for neutralizing acids produced by bacteria that could cause damage to your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum (Never sugared gum!) not only helps keep your teeth healthy, it also freshens your breath and helps you avoid embarrassing social situations caused by what you ate for lunch!

Visit Us For a Routine Checkup Every Six Months

No oral care regimen is complete without care from a qualified professional. And there’s no better professional to tend to your smile than Dr. LoCascio. He has almost 40 years of dental experience!

Regular visits and his trained eye will help catch small dental problems so we can provide treatment before they turn into big dental headaches. Not only will you have a healthier smile, you’ll have more confidence, and you’ll avoid unnecessary expense.

Our team provides a wide variety of dental services, so whatever type of care your smile needs, you’ll find it here. Our treatments include:

Do your smile a favor and treat it with extra-special care during National Dental Hygiene Month in Highland. Call us today at 248-329-3552 to schedule your next appointment!