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October 1, 2023

3 Daily Oral Hygiene Tips Just in Time for Halloween Candy

Filed under: Uncategorized — elreno @ 1:28 pm
three young children going trick-or-treating

Where has the year gone? It’s October already, and you’ve probably seen Halloween candy and decorations start to appear in stores for weeks now. Interestingly enough, it’s also National Dental Hygiene Month—what a coincidence! Before you and your loved ones enjoy all the frights and sweets this season, you can make sure your smile is ready by implementing these easy and effective daily tips that will make a big difference right away.

Take Your Time

When was the last time you thought about how long you brushed your teeth? If your answer is “never,” then you’re far from alone! Research has shown that brushing for two minutes twice a day is ideal for preventing cavities, gum disease, and toothaches, but most people only go for about 30 seconds to a minute for each session.

The solution? You can either upgrade to an electric brush that has a built-in timer, or just set one on your phone if you and your family use manual brushes. To liven things up, you can even find a two-minute song to give your bedtime routine a soundtrack that suits the season and your mood.

How To Start (& Keep) Flossing

As important as brushing is, it only cleans about 60% of the surfaces in your mouth because the bristles can’t do much about the plaque and food buildup between your teeth. The best way to remove it is through flossing, but starting and maintaining this habit can be tricky if you’re not used to doing it.

The key is to start slow. Try flossing every other day or every three days at first, and this will make it easier to start doing it the recommended once a day before going to bed. The big mistake most people make is that they try to floss every day immediately. It sounds simple on the surface, but changing/adding a new daily habit is quite difficult. Taking things gradually won’t burn through your willpower and is a more reliable way to ensure long-term success.

Close the Gap

Remember that 60% number that was just mentioned? While flossing does a lot to clean the remaining 40% of your mouth, the only way to get 100% is to regularly use mouthwash. Between these three practices, you’re cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth, between them, and your tongue and cheeks (which can harbor bacteria that lead to cavities, infections, and bad breath).

There are countless flavors to choose from—the most important thing is to use mouthwash that A. tastes somewhat good to you, and B. is alcohol-free. Alcohol creates a slight burning sensation that makes it feel like the mouthwash is “working,” but it mostly just dries out your mouth, which is very bad for oral health (a lack of saliva makes bacteria very happy). A quick rinse in the morning and evening will give you fresh breath and a clean sensation you’ll quickly learn to appreciate.

Bonus Tip—Schedule Your Next Dental Checkup

Receiving regular dental exams and cleanings from a skilled team is essential for avoiding the most common dental problems, but do you know why most people don’t come in for these visits every six months as recommended? Because they don’t schedule these appointments in the first place!

If you’re not scheduled to see the dentist in the future, go ahead and set this up today if you can. You don’t have to go in immediately, but having a date on the calendar will make it easier to get the professional attention you need.

About the Author

Dr. Krysten Jackson and Dr. Eric Parsons are family and cosmetic dentists who both graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. Dr. Jackson completed the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program there, one of the most elite residencies in the country, and Dr. Parsons consistently trains to use the latest technology so he can offer the most advanced methods of treatment. They are eager to do their part this National Dental Hygiene Month before your home is laden with candy! To get more tips or schedule everyone’s next checkup and cleaning at El Reno Family Dentistry, click here.

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