18 Jun Celebrating Oral Health Month: Your Guide to Good Oral Health
June is Oral Health Month and our team at Kirkpatrick Dental Care is excited to help you learn how to protect your smile all year long! Oral health is about more than cleaning your teeth and gums. The term actually refers to your total oral-facial system which gives you the ability to chew, speak, and smile. To get the most out of your oral care, make sure that you’re brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once per day, and visiting your dentist regularly.
The great thing about maintaining good oral health is that it’s so easy to do. Chances are that you’ve already been doing it for years. On the other hand, it can’t hurt to dive a little deeper into the basics. To keep you up to date on good oral health, we’ll go in-depth by looking at:
- Brushing your teeth
- Flossing daily
- Visiting your dentist regularly
At Kirkpatrick Dental Care, we’re passionate about good oral health because we understand that it doesn’t only lead to great dental exam results – it also saves you time and money by protecting your smile for years to come!
Brushing Your Teeth
You need to be brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Choose a brush that fits your mouth and reach all its areas easily. You don’t need to buy the most expensive toothbrush on the shelf. Just make sure that it works for you and that you’re replacing your toothbrush regularly to get the best results. Replace it every three months or if the bristles begin to fray.
You also want to make sure to use the proper brushing technique. To get the most out of your brushing, make sure that you:
- Position the brush’s head at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
- Brush back and forth using gentle strokes.
- Make sure to brush the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
- Tilt the brush vertically and use up-and-down strokes to get the inside of your front teeth.
- Brush for two minutes.
Follow these steps twice a day to keep a healthy smile. Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste for the best results.
Most people do a good job when it comes to brushing their teeth, but flossing tends to be a different story. According to a study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), around a third of American adults don’t floss.
While it may not seem like much, flossing is important since it reaches places your brush’s bristles can’t. It helps prevent cavities and gum disease by removing bacteria from between your teeth. Without flossing, plaque between your teeth can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist.
You have a few tools to choose from when flossing, namely string floss, dental picks, and brushes specifically designed to get between your teeth. Make sure you floss once a day at a time when you can devote an extra couple of minutes to your oral health.
To floss using string floss:
- Start by selecting around 18” dental floss.
- Wrap each end of the floss around each middle finger.
- Hold the floss tightly between your thumb and index finger with about an inch between them.
- Gently slide the floss between your teeth and hold tightly to the side of one tooth.
- Pressing gently against the tooth, slide the floss up and down to remove plaque and food.
Flossing is an essential part of maintaining oral health. It may be a difficult habit to develop, but it plays a crucial role in protecting your teeth from tartar, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Visiting Your Dentist Regularly
Are you one of the 100 million Americans that skip the dentist every year? If so, then you’re not just missing out on a key factor in maintaining good oral health. The symptoms of some diseases and other health conditions actually appear in the mouth. This is why visiting your dentist once or twice a year is a surefire way to protect your overall health as well as your oral health.
Dentists can help with a host of oral problems, including:
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold
- Gums that bleed when you floss or brush
- Bad breath
- Pain in your mouth, neck, or face
- You have trouble chewing or swallowing
Seeing your dentist regularly is also essential if you’re pregnant, use tobacco products, or have a medical condition such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
Oral health is a complex topic with surprisingly simple solutions – brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting your dentist regularly. Brushing should be done for two minutes using a brush that fits your mouth and is in good condition. Make sure to floss once a day when you have a couple of extra minutes. Lastly, visit your dentist regularly for exams and to maintain the best possible oral health.