October brings dental hygiene awareness

If you have bad breath, it’s important to remember that the only way to truly get rid of halitosis is to have a proper oral care regimen that you follow every day. While this may sound like common sense, you may be surprised to learn that Americans received an average score of “D” on a national dental health quiz administered by the American Dental Association (ADA). People were unaware of some of the most important ways to keep teeth healthy and avoid bad breath, such as when to replace their toothbrushes and how often to go to the dentist.

“The results of the survey were quite shocking and really show how important it is for people to become more involved in their own oral health,” said William R. Calnon, D.D.S., ADA president and a practicing dentist in Rochester, New York.

October is Dental Hygiene Awareness Month, and in honor of this occasion, now is a good time to go over some dental care basics and learn why practicing proper oral care is crucial if you want to cure bad breath.

Keep that bacteria in check

First, you need to understand what causes oral hygiene problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and halitosis, and that’s bacteria. Your mouth has so much bacteria in it that if you were able to see them all, it could take all week.

According to Dentistry IQ, nobody knows for sure how much bacteria there is in the mouth, but they do know that it multiplies fast. In a perfect environment, such as a Petri dish, some species of oral bacteria can double their numbers every 20 minutes.

Bacteria also eat and produce waste like most other living organisms, wreaking havoc on your gums and dental enamel and causing some nasty bad breath. This is why you need to brush, floss and use alcohol-free mouthwash and oral care probiotics. These products are designed to help keep bacteria in check and introduce healthy bacteria in the mouth to counteract the bad.

Steps to follow

So what should you do to fight bacteria and keep your mouth healthy? Well, the steps are simple but, you have to do them every day. You can’t brush a few days a week and think you’re doing the trick, since bacteria in the mouth are constantly growing. This is why you have to brush twice a day, every day, and floss at least once.

Also, you should be using alcohol-free mouthwash daily, not only to prevent bad breath, but to keep from developing dry mouth. The bacteria in your mouth can thrive when there are insufficient amounts of saliva to wash them away, which is why you should avoid alcohol-based mouthwash.

You should also avoid snacking between meals, since eating throughout the day will keep your teeth coated in sugar and leftover food particles. Many people mistakenly believe that sugar causes cavities, but in reality, it merely acts as a snack for the bacteria in your mouth. So, stick to three meals a day and consider using alcohol-free mouthwash throughout the day to wash away any remnants of these meals. Remember, you shouldn’t brush after every meal, since this may wear away tooth enamel. Twice a day is enough for a healthy mouth.

Keep all of this in mind as you celebrate Dental Hygiene Awareness Month.

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