October is National Dental Hygiene Month, a month devoted to raising people’s awareness about the importance of taking care of your mouth. At Danville Family Dentistry, Julie, Kris and Teresa, our dental hygienists, always encourage Hendricks County residents to practice good dental hygiene habits to keep their mouths, teeth and gums clean and healthy to prevent cavities, gingivitis and other disease.
When Hendricks County residents don’t take care of their teeth and gums consistently, they run the risk of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease. Untreated tooth decay or cavities can cause pain, absence from work or school, and tooth loss leading to an unattractive appearance. Untreated periodontal or gum disease (a bacterial infection of the gum tissue that destroys the gums and bone) can result in loose teeth, chewing difficulties and tooth extraction. Also gum disease has been shown to contribute to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and preterm, low-weight births.
To prevent tooth decay and gingivitis, here are 5 good dental hygiene habits you should practice to help keep your smile healthy and beautiful.

  1. Brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, twice a day, every day. Regular tooth brushing with fluoride toothpaste reduces plaque and prevents cavities, gingivitis and other plaque-related diseases. To clean your teeth and gums effectively, practice proper tooth brushing technique.
  2. Floss daily. Even if you use good tooth brushing technique, you still won’t remove plaque and food particles found between your teeth and under your gumline. That’s why you need to floss daily so you can reduce plaque buildup in these areas. If you have problems with flossing, talk to our dental hygienists. They can make recommendations to encourage you to floss more often.
  3. Rinse with an anti-microbial mouthwash every day. Since brushing and flossing can’t remove all plaque and germs, an antiseptic mouthwash can help prevent gum disease.
  4. Chew sugar-free gum after eating. Chewing sugar-free gum produces saliva, which washes away food particles, neutralizes acids in your mouth and helps prevent cavities.
  5. Visit Dr. Erickson every 6 months for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Schedule your appointment at Danville Family Dentistry by calling 317-745-4400. During your visit at our Hendricks County office, our dental hygienists or Dr. Erickson will professionally clean your teeth to remove plaque buildup. Also Dr. Erickson will examine your teeth for cavities, gum disease and other oral issues, and make recommendations for any treatment needed.

By following these good dental hygiene practices, you can help keep your teeth and gums healthy throughout your life.