11 Oct Dental Hygiene Month: What to Expect at Checkups & Self-Care Tips
October is one of our favorite months of the year because it’s National Dental Hygiene Month. This recognition is meant to bring awareness of the importance of practicing good dental hygiene habits. In today’s blog, we’re sharing some of our best dental hygiene tips and advice, including what to expect at a dental cleaning and checkup appointment. Twice yearly professional cleaning and exam appointments are recommended to help you maintain optimal dental health.
What to Expect at a Professional Cleaning and Dental Exam
Regular dental checkups begin with an exam by a dental hygienist. Using a small mirror, the hygienist will look over your teeth and gums to determine if there are any concerns your dentist should see before the hygienist begins the cleaning. Then, the hygienist begins the cleaning by removing plaque and tartar from around the gum line using a small instrument known as a scaler. You may hear a scraping sound from time to time, but this is totally normal.
The next step in a professional dental cleaning is a deep cleaning using a high powered toothbrush and a gritty paste that removes any tartar left behind from step one and polishes your teeth. This step is followed by expert flossing and then a fluoride rinse to wash away the toothpaste and leftover tartar.
The final step in a dental cleaning is the fluoride treatment which is distributed to your teeth and gums using a mouth tray. If you are concerned about the way the gritty toothpaste or fluoride treatment will taste, no worries are needed. Your hygienist will offer you a few flavor options for the paste and treatment, including bubblegum flavor.
Self Care Tips for Maintaining Good Dental Hygiene
Maintaining optimal oral and dental health means practicing good dental hygiene habits at home. This begins with following proper brushing and flossing practices as recommended by the American Dental Association(ADA). Dental professionals recommend brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. To ensure you are brushing properly follow these techniques as suggested by the ADA:
- Hold brush at a 45° angle to gums
- Move the brush back and forth in short, tooth-wide strokes
- Brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth
- Inside brushing should be performed by holding your toothbrush vertically using up-and-down strokes
In addition to brushing and flossing, consider adding a mouthwash and a tongue scraper to your dental hygiene routines to enhance the results of your hygiene practices. Many toothbrushes are now made with tongue scrapers on the back of the brush to remove bacteria leftover on the tongue and freshen your breath.
If it’s been awhile since your last dental checkup and cleaning, contact Renew Dental to schedule an appointment with our clinic today.