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National Dental Hygiene Month

National Dental Hygiene Month

Private Home Care is glad to announce that October is National Dental Hygiene Month! This month is dedicated to promoting healthy mouths all across the country, and celebrating the hard work your favorite dental hygienist or dentist does to keep your pearly whites squeaky clean. Dental hygiene is simple, and regular small habits can go a long way. It is as simple as 1-2-3: floss, brush for two minutes, and rinse with mouthwash twice a day. Dentists also recommend chewing sugar free gum to keep your mouth and teeth nice and healthy.

While sometimes overlooked, oral hygiene is key to overall health and wellness. There is no pain quite like a toothache (ouch!), and others can be impacted by your level of care for your teeth – no one likes bad breath!. Dental hygiene can be critical and even life saving. If it is neglected, plaque from food residue can build up around teeth and gums. That plaque, along with sugars, are acidic to your teeth and gums and start to break them down, which is how cavities and gum disease forms. If the tissue underneath the teeth gets infected, it can cause a dangerous blood infection that can travel throughout the whole body. When this happens it is life threatening and it can even result in death.

Oral health is serious for more vulnerable populations like seniors. As our bodies age, our teeth break down over the years. During later years, people are more prone to tooth infections that have built up, and because of their age, may take longer to heal. That is why a lifetime practice of proper dental hygiene is important. There are a number of things that dentists notice with their patients that can help them achieve optimum dental health:

-Floss! Flossing is imperative for getting rid of debris between teeth and stuck in gums. It also provides a little ‘massage’ for gums and keeps the blood stimulated and healthy. There are so many different ways to floss with traditional floss, mini plastic flossers, water flossers, etc., that there is a good option for everyone.

-Don’t brush too hard! Many people think that if they brush harder, it will clean their teeth better. This is damaging to the enamel and gums, and wears down the teeth, as well as increases sensitivity. Make sure to use a soft bristle and brush in gentle circles.

-Two whole minutes! Sometimes when we are in a rush, we do not brush for long enough. Taking the extra time to brush your teeth properly makes a world of difference (ask any dentist). A good way to ensure this is to use an electric toothbrush that is timed. Don’t forget to brush your tongue!

Ironically, National Dental Hygiene Month is during the same month as candy-centric Halloween (or is this on purpose?). Diet plays a large role in oral health. Eating a diet heavy in sugar, processed foods, salt, and fat is not tooth-friendly. Anyone with a sweeth tooth can tell you that their trips to the dentist are not fun, as sugar helps cause tooth cavities. This is especially so when proper dental hygiene is not practiced. A diet that is low in sugar, such as the Mediterranean Diet, is ideal for oral health. The Mediterranean Diet is rich in fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats, dairy, and healthy fats. A nice addition that supports oral health is coconut! Coconut has natural antibacterial and enamel-strengthening properties that bolster oral health!

In honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, Private Home Care encourages you to call and schedule an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning! You can also celebrate by buying a new toothbrush or eating more coconut!

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