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National Dental Hygiene Month: 3 Ways to Improve the Care You Give Your Smile

October 31, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drnagornaya @ 1:06 pm
Woman smiling and brushing her teeth in bathroom mirror

October is most well-known for Halloween, but it also happens to be National Dental Hygiene Month. As such, now is a good time to take a second look at your dental hygiene routine. Are you doing everything you can to give your smile the care it deserves? Or is there room for improvement?  Your dentist is here to suggest 3 ways that you may want to consider updating your dental hygiene habits.

1. Improving Your Brushing Technique

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your smile from the plaque that can ultimately lead to tooth decay and gum disease. To get the most out of brushing, you need to make sure that you’re using the proper technique.

It’s recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day and that each brushing session lasts two minutes. To make sure that you’re cleaning the area near your gums, you should hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. The outer and chewing surfaces of the teeth should be brushed with short back-and-forth strokes. Meanwhile, you should use up-and-down strokes for the inner surfaces.

2. Start Flossing Every Day

Most people are already in the habit of brushing twice a day, but flossing is a decidedly less common habit. The fact of the matter is that there are certain parts of your mouth that you can’t clean effectively with a toothbrush alone. Flossing is your best option for getting rid of plaque that may have built up between your teeth.

Like with brushing, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the proper technique for flossing. Take an 18-inch piece of floss and wrap it around the middle fingers of both hands with about 3 to 4 inches between them. Then, clean the spaces between two of your teeth by moving the floss up and down. Unwind the floss a little bit and use the clean section for the next space. Then simply repeat the process for your entire mouth.

3. Remember to Use Mouthwash

Brushing and flossing are both highly effective when it comes to getting rid of harmful oral bacteria, but if you want your mouth to be as clean as possible, you should also start using mouthwash on a regular basis. The best time to rinse your mouth is typically after you have finished brushing and flossing.

Following the above tips can go a long way toward helping you enjoy a healthier, cleaner smile. Remember that if you have any doubts about your oral hygiene, you can always ask your dentist for advice the next time you visit their office.

About the Author

Dr. Natalya Nagornaya went to the University of Illinois – College of Dentistry. She currently holds membership with the Chicago Dental Society, the Illinois State Dental Society, and the American Dental Association. She cares about building positive relationships with her patients and is always ready to give them helpful suggestions when it comes to dental hygiene. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Nagornaya at Countryside Dental in Buffalo Grove, visit her website or call (847) 634-2525.

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