Did you know that October is National Dental Hygiene Month? It’s true! During October, those working in the dental hygiene industry work extra hard to promote good dental and oral hygiene habits. It’s in this spirit that we here at Joseph C. Lattinelli, DMD and Associates would like to offer you some tips to help keep your whole mouth clean:
Brushing your teeth alone isn’t enough to maintain good oral health. Your teeth are important but don’t forget your tongue. Brushing or scraping your tongue can minimize bacteria that cause bad breath (or halitosis). Mouth wash is also great for the same purpose.
You should floss, but only once a day. Flossing is effective at cleaning between the teeth and along the gum line. However, flossing every time you brush is unnecessary and excessive.
Your toothbrush doesn’t have a very long lifespan and should be replaced every three or so months. It can be difficult to tell when you need to replace your toothbrush because visual cues may not be readily apparent. You need to feel the bristles and ensure they are still firm. As they lose resistance they become ineffective at scrubbing.
Learn how to take care of your toothbrush. This is incredibly important for its longevity as well as your health. The ADA recommends that you thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after every use to remove any lingering paste. A brush should be allowed to dry in an upright position so that the back of the head and the bristles aren’t making contact with any surface. Finally, if you keep your toothbrush in any kind of case, wait until it has completely dried before putting it in. Leaving it in a closed space while it’s damp can promote bacterial growth in the bristles.