October is National Dental Hygiene Month
October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and it’s a good time to think about your oral health. At Alabama Family Dentistry, we want to help you to keep your oral health in great shape, and offer you some tips on how you can help yourself with that goal.
At-Home Oral Hygiene
You may already know that you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing. People often ask if flossing is really important. The answer is definitely yes. If you don’t floss, food particles between your teeth will allow bacteria to grow and cause problems from bad breath to gum disease. You really must floss to prevent this, but you have some choices in how you floss. You can use traditional floss, floss picks or a water pick. If you have concerns about flossing, don’t hesitate to talk to us about it.
It’s also important to come in for routine checkups twice a year, even if you aren’t experiencing any problems. This is because some problems can be detected by dental professionals before you notice symptoms yourself at home. Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems, and though it can become very serious and cause tooth loss, it is surprisingly easy to treat if it is caught early. Dental checkups every six month can allow us to reverse gum disease with just a simple cleaning before it has a chance to get out of hand.
Diet and Your Teeth
Keeping sugary snacks and drinks to a minimum helps your teeth and gums, but it’s also important to watch out for acidic foods like fruits and some vegetables. Though these foods are good for you, you should follow some tips when you eat them to keep the acids from harming your teeth. After eating you can sip water or chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva and help wash away acids and food particles. You should avoid brushing your teeth too soon after a meal. Wait at least 20 minutes or so, because that gives your tooth enamel time to recover from being weakened by the foods you ate.
If it’s been more than six months since you’ve seen a dentist, National Dental Hygiene Month is a perfect time to make an appointment for a checkup. Call Alabama Family Dentistry now at any of our four locations in the Birmingham Area: Warrior, Acton Road, Gardendale and Sumitron. If we haven’t met you before we’ll be happy to welcome you and help you to keep your smile and your oral health the best it can be.