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Ballston Dental Arts
900 N Taylor Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203

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Celebrate Dental Hygiene Month

dentist cleaning patients teeth

October is Dental Hygiene Month. It’s an official event which was started in 2009 by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. It’s the time of the year we celebrate the work dentists and dental hygienists do to maintain their patient’s dental health. It’s also the time of year when kids go door to door getting candy, which is not good for teeth. Parents get into the spirit too, eating some of the leftover candy. It’s okay to indulge sometimes, and if you understand good dental hygiene, you can limit the damage sugar can do to your teeth.

Celebrate Dental Hygiene Month at our dental office Arlington. We are ready to help you enjoy good dental health. Schedule an appointment with our office today!

Why Should I See a Dental Hygienist in Arlington?

Dental hygienists are educated, licensed professionals who specialize in preventative dental care. Their primary goals are cavity and gum disease prevention. Dental hygienists are an integral part of any dental practice that is concerned about their patient’s oral health. They normally see patients before their checkup, so they can pass on any relevant information on to the dentist. Our dental hygienists set the tone for a relaxing visit where all your concerns are addressed.

Dental hygienists clean teeth professionally; something you should have done every six months. No matter how well you take care of your teeth at home, you will miss some areas. They also show patients the areas they miss, and offer tips about how to clean their teeth better. Dental hygienists may also process x-rays, apply preventative treatments, like sealants and fluoride treatments, and offer dietary tips. They are an invaluable source of information and we’re proud of the work our dental hygienist does.

Why is Dental Hygiene Important?

Celebrate Dental Hygiene Month by taking good care of your teeth. Your healthy habits should include brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and limiting your sugar intake.

Another good way to celebrate Dental Hygiene Month is to review your at home dental care routine and ask your dental hygienist if there is anything you can improve upon.

Good Toothbrushing Techniques

There are a few things to remember when brushing your teeth:

1. Brush every morning and before going to sleep at night. Don’t eat or drink anything after brushing your teeth at night, except water.

2. Brush before at least two minutes, hitting every surface of every tooth. Set a timer on your phone if you have to, just to make sure you are brushing long enough.

3. Use a toothbrush with a small enough head to reach all your teeth. Make sure it is a brush with soft bristles and replace it every three months.

4. Always use a fluoride toothpaste. Don’t rinse with water after brushing, just spit out any excess toothpaste so some fluoride will stay on your teeth.

5. Brush your tongue gently, too. It will remove excess bacteria from your mouth and help keep your breath fresh.

If you don’t feel like your teeth are getting as clean as you would like, consider getting an electric toothbrush. They are ideal for easily removing plaque, especially if you have arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Replace your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months. If you become ill, throw your manual toothbrush away and use disposable ones until you’re better and can replace your old one.

Why Floss?

Flossing removes plaque from between teeth and at the gumline. This helps prevent cavities from between teeth and gum disease. Brushing alone cannot reach these areas.

We can show you how to use traditional string floss if you’re having trouble. Some people do better with other options, like water flossers. If you have arthritis or other manual dexterity issues, a water flosser is an ideal option. There are other options your dental hygienist can show you, including air flossers. They use a pressurized stream of air with a little water mixed in to clean between teeth. These only take about a minute to use.

Unfortunately, the majority of people don’t floss every day as the ADA recommends. In fact, some people don’t floss at all. People brush, but sometimes skip flossing, so about half of all cavities start between teeth. Instead of lying to your dentist or dental hygienist about how often you floss, use Dental Hygiene Month to ask about a better way to do it.

Should I Use Mouthwash?

Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash after your brush and floss is an ideal thing to add to your oral hygiene routine. It will kill any bacteria remaining in your mouth. The mouthwash can get into small spaces you may have missed. Just remember, mouthwash can’t replace brushing or flossing.

If you want to use mouthwash, wait 30 minutes after brushing. The mouthwash can wash off the extra toothpaste left on your teeth. Certain types of mouthwashes have active ingredients that can cancel out the added benefits.

More Ways to Prevent Cavities

Decay occurs when plaque builds up on teeth. The bacteria in plaque create acids that can erode tooth enamel. When brushing after a meal isn’t possible, try chewing a piece of sugarless gum. It will help remove plaque from teeth. Chew it for at least 20 minutes.

You can also rinse your mouth with water. Eating a crunchy fruit, like an apple, will also scrub teeth naturally.

Celebrate Dental Hygiene Month by doing everything you can to keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Regular Dental Visits

While what you do at home is essential, you also need to see a dentist in Arlington for routine checkups and teeth cleanings. Between these two things, you have a splendid chance of maintaining a healthy mouth for life.

Help us celebrate Dental Hygiene Month in Arlington by scheduling an appointment with our office today!

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Ballston Dental Arts

900 N Taylor Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 291-3111