October is National Dental Hygiene Month! It is the perfect time to start focusing on your oral health, especially with all that Halloween candy coming! Often times, keeping up with proper home care and receiving routine professional dental care is placed at the bottom of the to-do list in our busy lives. However, this can end up being a grave mistake as your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body. Researchers have done countless studies showing associations between oral health and systemic issues including but not limited to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic inflammation, pre-term and low birth weight babies.
By working closely with your dental hygienist and dentist you can help preserve not only your oral health but your overall health as well. Dental hygiene is celebrating 100 years of being a profession in 2017, with the field continuously working alongside medical professionals to develop methods geared towards improving the overall health of the population. Cavities are important to prevent and can lead to tooth loss, but the “silent killer” in dentistry is periodontal disease. Maintaining healthy gum tissue and a good foundation for your teeth is one of the main focuses of hygienists at your dental appointments. Here are a few basic tips to get yourself started on working towards a happy, healthy you!
- Seek professional preventative care every six months or complete any periodontal disease management as needed and maintain after.
- Have proper nutrition. It is imperative for not only your mouth but your whole body to have a balanced diet with limited snacks and minimal sugar and fermentable carbohydrates.
- Eliminate unhealthy habits such as tobacco usage and manage grinding/clenching your teeth.
- Perform proper home care. Each individual requires a different home care routine but standard of care is to brush a minimum of 2 times per day for 2 minutes focusing along the gum line with short gentle strokes being sure to have a pattern while brushing to cover all areas thoroughly. Toothbrush bristles do not extend between teeth well so flossing becomes imperative and should be done at least nightly. While flossing, be sure to extend as far into the tissue as possible and gently move it up and down while in contact with the side of the tooth. Bleeding is generally a sign that tissue has become ulcerated due to the presence of bacteria. Thorough home care typically helps improve it over time unless calculus (mineralized plaque) is present in which case professional care should be sought.
Never hesitate to consult with a dental hygienist about any questions or concerns you may have. Hygienists are here to counsel and guide you in any way you may need to preserve your smile for a lifetime, so please call us at 763-205-0526 to book an appointment today and help celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month along with them!
Licensed Dental Hygienist
Reflections Dental Care
Kaitlyn Dvorak received her Bachelors in Dental Hygiene degree and expanded functions certification in restorative procedures from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2012. She grew up around family members in the dental profession which sparked her passion and dedication to contributing to the education and care of people and their oral health. Kaitlyn has experience in a variety of different clinical settings allowing her to better aid and understand individual patients’ needs. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, hiking and playing the piano.
“Healthy mouth, healthy body”. Journal of the American Dental Association. April 2006. http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/For_the_Dental_Patient_April_2006.pdf?la=en. Accessed 13 October 2017.