October is National Dental Hygiene Month. So what does that mean anyway? Mclean Dentist, Sherry Kazerooni, knows the answer comes in two parts: awareness of proper dental hygiene as well as awareness of and appreciation for your hard-working dental hygienists.
What Do Hygienists Do?
Hygienists perform a variety of functions in the dental office, some of which you might remember from your last visit. Some of their duties include:
• Removing plaque and other buildup from your teeth and gum line
• Educating patients on proper oral hygiene techniques, the importance of good nutrition, and other dental related tips
• Taking and interpreting x-rays of your teeth
• Applying agents like fluorides and sealants to your teeth
• Assisting your dentist
Your dental hygienist plays a big part in ensuring the quality of your dental experience.
We would like to thank our dental hygienists for all the hard work and clean smiles they create for our wonderful patients.
So, how can you get involved with National Dental Hygiene Month this October?
Brush Up on Your Brushing Technique
The foundation for good dental hygiene is brushing your teeth. Just because you’ve been brushing your own teeth since you were old enough to hold a toothbrush, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re practicing proper technique or good habits. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when brushing:
• Brush at least twice a day. After every meal is ideal.
• Use a toothbrush with soft bristles so as not to irritate or damage your teeth and gums.
• Your bristles should contact your teeth and gums at a 45 degree angle.
• Proper brushing includes more than just your teeth. Be sure to clean your teeth, gums, and even your tongue!
• Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head (yes, even electric toothbrush heads need to be replaced just as often as a manual toothbrush!) every 3 months or after an illness (like the flu!) due to bacterial build-up.
Ask your hygienist for more brushing tips specific to your teeth and needs. They would be happy to help!
Which Half Are You In?
Only half of Americans floss daily. Flossing is an important part of proper oral hygiene and should be performed at least once a day. Gently moving the floss between the teeth allows it to remove plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. The only other way to ensure all of your plaque is removed from your teeth is with a deep cleaning from your trained hygienist. If you find flossing to be an awkward or difficult part of your routine, ask your hygienist about the various flossing tools and cleaning devices that can help making flossing an easier task.
You have three tasks to complete this October:
1. Brush up on your brushing.
2. Make flossing part of your daily hygiene routine.
3. Ensure you have your next cleaning appointment scheduled.
If you’re in need of an appointment with our hygienist give us a call at (703)827-0644 today!