October is National Dental Hygiene Month!
October seems to officially start the fall season – with pumpkin patches, fall scents and leaves changing. But, it’s also a time to focus on our dental hygiene. October is recognized as National Dental Hygiene Month and emphasises the importance of good oral care. Good oral care is essential to good orthodontic care, and can help prevent the need for expensive corrective orthodontic treatment. Weiss & Tor Orthodontics wants to bring attention a few routines to ensure good oral hygiene: brushing, flossing, chewing, and rinsing.
Chances are you’re pretty good about brushing your teeth. If you’re brushing regularly twice a day, you are on your way to taking good care of your teeth. But you should also be brushing your teeth in the correct way. Bad brushing habits can be harmful to teeth in the long run, especially if you wear braces. Follow these tips:
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
- Place your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to your gums
- Use short strokes in back and forth motion
- Brush gently between the wires of your braces
- Brush all surfaces of your teeth – outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can linger there and ensure fresh breath
- Never brush too hard – this can cause enamel to wear down overtime and potentially damage braces
Flossing helps remove bits of food that can linger in between teeth, and just a toothbrush won’t always remove them. If these food particles are not removed, this leads to the buildup of plaque, and lead to cavities. If your child wears braces, it is even more important to floss to remove food particles. Waxed floss is best to move easier around braces, but there are several other flossing tools for braces that you can find at a nearby drugstore. Your Ohio orthodontist or dental hygienist can demonstrate the best way to floss with braces.
Chewing can be a key player in your oral hygiene. Obviously, what you chew can have a big impact on your teeth. It’s important to avoid or limit foods that are too hard or crunchy, as this can damage braces and chip teeth. Additionally, you want to avoid over acidic foods like fruits and juices that can wear down your enamel overtime.
There is something you can chew though – sugarless gum. According to MouthHealthy.org, chewing sugarless gum can provide great benefits to your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. Saliva helps to wash away food debris and can neutralize acids in the mouth causes by bacteria. Additionally, saliva contains calcium and phosphate that strengthens tooth enamel. Look for sugarless gum with the American Dental Association Seal to be sure it’s safe to chew.
Using mouthwash can further help with good oral care by improving bad breath and killing bacteria. Killing bacteria helps to prevent bad breath, plaque, tooth decay, and gingivitis. Mouthwash also acts as a final step in oral care, removing food particles that brushing and flossing may not get to. If you are wondering what types of mouthwash are best, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
At Weiss & Tor Orthodontics, we know that good dental hygiene is essential to overall health and helps to improve orthodontics treatment. We provide orthodontic care for children and adults, as well as orthodontic surgery. We offer Invisalign in addition to braces. We serve the Middleburg and Orange Village, Ohio area. Contact us to schedule an appointment!