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October is National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month! 
This year's motto is Brush. Floss. Rinse. Chew. 

All four of those steps are very important puzzle pieces to keeping your smile healthy. 

Of course, brushing your teeth atleast twice a day is a very effective tool in removing plaque, biofilm and food particles that may be stuck to your teeth. Proper brushing technique involves brushing along the gumline, and not just the teeth. Be sure to change your toothbrush every three months or if the bristles are frayed- whichever comes sooner. 

Flossing your teeth atleast once a day (more if possible) is also an incredibly effective tool for keeping your smile healthy. When you floss your teeth, you remove biofilm that has settled below the gumline and between the teeth. This cannot be reached by a toothbrush and without flossing will stay put and cause big problems for you and your teeth. If this biofilm is not removed, it will begin to attract bacteria. The bacteria will colonize below your gumline and begin to eat away at the healthy gum tissue, slowly pushing it away from the roots of the teeth. This can eventually move into the bone which your teeth are rooted in, and cause your teeth to loosen and even fall out. By flossing regularly, you can prevent this from happening to you!  Oh what a big job a simple little piece of string can do! 

Using an antiseptic  mouth rinse can effectively wash out any remaining small particles, as well as kill bacteria  that may be hanging out in your mouth. Mouth rinse has the ability to penetrate the area between your teeth, and coat the interior of the mouth - this is just another step to a healthy mouth. 

Chewing sugar free gum after eating is clinically proven to stimulate saliva production, which neutralizes acids and also helps fight cavities. 

For more information on oral care, please visit the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) .