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88 Ryders Lane, Stratford, CT 06614

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Celebrate Dental Hygiene Month

dentist cleaning patients teeth

In 2009, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association decided it was essential that people could have better dental health if they would take better care of their teeth at home. They created Dental Hygiene Month to bring awareness to how people can positively can impact their oral health. In October, when Dental Hygiene Month occurs, it’s the time when sweet treats are plentiful. It’s the ideal time to learn more about how to take care of your teeth and gums. Nevertheless, we’re here for you year-round.

To learn more about how to take care of your teeth and gums, call our dental office in Stratford for an appointment today!

Our Dental Hygienists in Stratford Play a Vital Role in Your Oral Health

Dental hygienists play a vital role in our patients’ dental health. Most people just view hygienists are the people who clean plaque and tarter off their teeth, but they do such much more. Professional teeth cleanings are essential to keeping decay and gum disease at bay. The American Dental Association recommends you have one every six months.

Dental hygienists can tell how well you are brushing and flossing when they clean your teeth. They can suggest different ways to make your dental care routine more effective. Hygienists can show you how to floss and make suggestions for alternative flossing products if you have trouble using string floss. They can process x-rays, look for signs of oral cancer. and provide sealants and fluoride treatments. Dental hygienists can also help patients avoid consuming excess sugar by suggesting tooth-friendly snacks. Many also offer advice about smoking cessation programs, which will lower your risk of developing gum disease or oral cancer.

Why is Dental Hygiene Important?

Good dental hygiene reduces your risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Removing plaque from your teeth regularly will help keep your teeth and gums healthy and your smile bright. It will also save you time and money on future dental care. Good dental hygiene is an investment. The best ways to remove plaque are below.

Tips for Better Brushing

Twice a day, brush for two minutes. Brush in the morning and immediately before going to bed. Have nothing to eat or drink, except water, after brushing your teeth before going to bed. Brush every tooth surface.

Use the right tools. These include a soft-bristled toothbrush, never a hard bristled one. Soft bristles clean better. Hard bristles can damage enamel and gums. Make sure the head is small enough to reach your back teeth. Always use a clean brush that is no older than three months hold. The bristles will fray if you don’t change it frequently.

Use fluoride toothpaste. Adults get cavities, too, so they need the fluoride, even if it is already in their community water supply. If you have any concerns about getting too much fluoride, talk to your dentist.

Get your technique down pat. Use circular motions and don’t press too hard. If you see the bristles bend, you’re scrubbing too hard. Gentler brushing lets the bristles reach in crevices. Brush your tongue too, for fresher breath. Also, just spit out any remaining toothpaste, but don’t rinse. Let some of the fluoride remain on your teeth.

Consider using an electric toothbrush. They clean as well, if not better, than manual toothbrushes. Many people find them easier to use, too.

Why is Flossing Important?

Brushing your teeth isn’t enough. Your toothbrush can’t reach in between your teeth. Flossing daily removes plaque and food particles and plaque from between your teeth and along the gumline. This helps reduce your risk of gum disease, decay and bad breath. Floss at least once a day, preferably before brushing. This way, any plaque and food particles flossing removes will get washed away.

Waxed and unwaxed string floss is the most popular choice, but it’s not right for everyone. Some people find air or water flossers easier to use. Ask your dental hygienist for more suggestions about alternatives if you’re one of the two-thirds of Americans over age 30 who don’t floss every day. It’s more important to floss daily than which device you use to clean between your teeth.


There are two types of mouthwashes: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes simply freshen your breath. Therapeutic mouthwashes have ingredients that offer a specific benefit, such as reducing plaque or fighting gingivitis or decay. Therapeutic mouthwashes are no substitute for brushing or flossing; they just enhance these actions.

Always choose a mouthwash brand with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. This ensures the product is safe and effective. You can also ask your dental hygienist for specific recommendations.

Other Ways to Remove Plaque

When consume foods and beverages with sugars, you develop plaque on your teeth. If left on your teeth, the bacteria in plaque creates acids that can erode tooth enamel. Normally, you brush and floss the plaque off your teeth or let your saliva wash it away in between brushings, but sometimes, it’s a long time before you can brush again.

Keep sugarless gum with you during the day. Chewing it won’t harm your teeth, and it stimulates the saliva in your mouth. You need to chew it for 20 minutes for it to be effective.

If you don’t have any sugarless gum available, rinse your mouth out with water. It’s not as good as having a toothbrush with you, but it can help. Eating an apple, pear or crunchy vegetables after a meal on the go can naturally scrub plaque off your teeth.

Celebrate Dental Hygiene Month by preparing yourself to take care of your teeth on the go.

What Else Can I Do to Celebrate?

Regular checkups and dental cleanings will help you keep a healthy smile, along with following the best practices above. If you take good care of your teeth at home, your checkup and cleaning will be easier and faster than if you ignored good at home dental hygiene. We want to help you have a pleasant smile that you can be proud to show off at every opportunity.

To celebrate Dental Hygiene Month in Stratford, call our office today to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to our family.

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Lighthouse Dental Care

88 Ryders Lane, Stratford, CT 06614

(203) 742-1027