National Dental Hygiene Month

We know, we know.

There are too many “fake holidays” rolling around on social media these days.  National Leave a Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day is a fine example of that.

We know that the plethora of silly National Days can diminish the impact of ones that truly are important.

When it comes to dental hygiene, we think it deserves the recognition and focus of a “national month” designation.  Here’s why.

What is Dental Hygiene?

Dental hygiene actually encompasses two realms.  The first is a person’s individual practice of dental hygiene at home through brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash among other accessory methods and techniques.  The second is the professional care provided for patients by registered dental hygienists during a dental visit.

They are both essential to great oral health.

Why Does Dental Hygiene get a Whole Month?

Well, we really don’t know who determines these things.  But we are happy about it.

Dental hygiene truly has a profound impact on your overall health and quality of life.  Those with great dental hygiene tend to have a lower risk for diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.  They also have more attractive smiles and fresh breath, which improves quality of life.

Great dental hygiene reduces your risk for the progressive dental diseases of cavities (tooth decay) and gum disease (periodontitis).  This means that it helps you keep your teeth for a lifetime.  By preventing cavities and gum disease, it can even save your life by preventing dangerous infections that can spread throughout the body.

Ways to Celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month

So during this month, we focus on both individual dental hygiene and our wonderful dental hygienists who provide us with professional care.  Here are some fun ways you can celebrate this month of recognition.

Brush Up on Your Dental Hygiene Techniques

You can improve your own dental hygiene.  If you find yourself rushing through your nightly brushing and flossing routine, take some time to slow down and focus on your technique.  Are your brush bristles touching every surface of every tooth?  Are you using a gentle, circular motion with the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the tooth surface?

When you floss (ahem . . . we said “when”, not “if”), are you wrapping the floss around both of the teeth so that the floss touches the entire side of the tooth?  It takes a little extra focus and time to do a great job with dental hygiene.

Here are some great instructional videos that can help you see ways to improve your own brushing and flossing.

Splurge on an Electric Toothbrush or Water Flosser

Many people find that they can perform better dental hygiene at home by using an electric toothbrush or water flosser.  These tools aren’t necessary for great plaque removal, but they do make it easier for many people.  A rechargeable electric toothbrush can help you keep your teeth cleaner and whiter between your dental cleanings.  A water flosser can help remove food debris and dental plaque from areas that are difficult to reach with traditional floss.

Ask your dentist or hygienist for a recommendation of specific brands.

Write a Thank You Note or Social Media Post to your Favorite Hygienist

During dental hygiene month, we want to recognize the important role of dental hygienists in providing great dental care for our patients.  Consider hand writing your hygienist a thank you note and mailing it to the office.  If that’s not your jam, post about them on social media.  Thank them for helping you maintain a beautiful smile and fresh breath.

Schedule a Professional Teeth Cleaning

What if you don’t have a dental hygienist?  This is your cue to get one.  Maintaining great dental hygiene must include professional teeth cleanings on a consistent basis.  For most adults, that is every six months.  If you have not seen a dental hygienist in over a year, it’s time to schedule a visit.  We love helping people get back on track with great dental care.

More Questions about Dental Hygiene?

Come see us!  At Timberlake Dental, we have skilled, compassionate hygienists who love caring for our patients.  We are so blessed to have such great dental hygienists on our team.  They are an essential part of providing comprehensive dental care to the people of Denton and the surrounding communities.