National Dental Hygiene Month is observed every October in the United States. Dental hygiene refers to the ways in which we keep our mouth, teeth and gums clean and healthy. Colgate.com explains that the goal of this awareness month is to celebrate the work dental hygienists do and spread the word about the importance of good oral health.
What do dental hygienists do?
When most people think of dental hygienists, they think of a teeth cleaning. However, the American Dental Association (ADA) highlights the many additional responsibilities hygienists hold. These include examining your mouth, taking your blood pressure and pulse, and assessing your overall health and wellness. Hygienists also take dental x-rays to check for any problems in places that aren’t easily visible, such as in between or underneath your teeth. They also educate patients about good nutrition and ways to keep a healthy mouth. The cleaning itself involves removing plaque and tartar from around your gum line, followed by thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth.
How do I maintain good oral health?
MouthHealthy.org, an ADA website, emphasizes the importance of maintaining your oral health at all stages of life. Understanding proper brushing and flossing techniques and eating a well-balanced diet can go a long way toward preventing cavities. It’s also essential to see your hygienist on a regular basis to help remove tartar build-up and detect any potential problems before they worsen. This can even help you save money by avoiding costly dental treatments down the road.
Take advantage of your dental benefits!
Most dental insurances cover two annual cleanings and exams at little or no cost. If you have dental insurance and haven’t had your second visit for the year, now’s the time to take advantage of your benefits and schedule your appointment. If you do not have insurance, don’t worry. Give us a call and ask about the discount options available to you.