October might seem like the official candy month, with Halloween front and center, but did you know that it is also National Dental Hygiene Month? This year the American Dental Hygienists Association has partnered with the manufacturer of Wrigley gum to compile a month long agenda, the goal of which is to raise awareness about dental hygiene. Your Lake Forest dentist fully supports this four fold program, which seeks to emphasize brushing, flossing, rinsing, and chewing sugar-free gum.
Back to Basics: The Toothbrush
The ADHA and Dr. Fondriest recommend that you brush at least twice a day, for two minutes each. For best results use a fluoride toothpaste, and a soft bristled brush. Brushing correctly means brushing in small circles with the bristles pointed at a 45 degree angle to the gum line.
What You Don’t Do Enough of: Flossing
It is imperative to floss at least once a day, preferably at night. While floss is useful for removing food from between teeth, its main purpose is to remove bacteria-filled plaque and tartar from the spaces between teeth, and underneath the gum line, where toothbrushes can’t reach.
Try This After Every Meal: Rinsing
Brushing and flossing are crucial tools for maintaining healthy teeth, but teeth are only a part of your mouth. Rinse with water after every meal, and in the morning and evenings use an anti-microbial rinse, or mouthwash, to kill harmful germs and bacteria that can lead to gum disease and bad breath.
What Your Teeth Do Best: Chewing
While not an indispensable aspect of oral health, chewing sugar-free gum has been clinically shown to benefit oral health by stimulating one of the mouth’s best defenses against tooth decay – Saliva production. That’s right, your saliva works to neutralize acids in the mouth, and wash away leftover food particles.
Visiting Your Lakewood dentist
Though not mentioned on the ADHA’s list, one of the most critical aspects of maintaining oral health is seeing your Lakewood dentist every six months for a checkup and dental cleaning, because there are some things that a toothbrush and floss just can’t accomplish. Call Dr Fondriest today at (847)234-0517. We gladly serve patients from Lakewood and the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods.