Brighten your Smile for Dental Hygiene Month

2016-10-05

Your teeth reflect your overall health, so paying attention to them is important everybody knows that. And yet, many of us still skip brushing our teeth on some busy days or avoid regular checkups. In light of National Dental Hygiene Month, here's how to stay on top of dental hygiene along with dental insurance guidelines:

What is Oral Health?

You might be surprised to learn that oral health isn't just about your teeth; it also includes your gums, tongue, throat and other craniofacial tissues that can become inflamed or diseased. Problems with your teeth and gums can often be related to other underlying issues and indicate disease elsewhere in the body. On the flip side, poor oral health can lead to other illnesses and infections.

Brushing Basics

Your dentist taught you this when you were a kid, remember? Well, it's still important to brush your teeth the correct way in order to really get rid of plaque that causes cavities and gum disease. Hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and brush each tooth individually, with a short circular motion. Move systematically from left to right on the outer teeth so you don't miss a tooth, doing the same for the inner teeth. Be sure to get in between the teeth where plaque can get lodged. Brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes.

Toothbrush Tips

Advertisers would have you to believe that the latest, greatest toothbrush whether it's manual, electric or sonic will get your teeth cleaner than ever before and with the least amount of effort. Let's start with manual toothbrushes: Choose a toothbrush with a medium-sized head not too large or small and nylon bristles. It's counterintuitive, but hard toothbrushes can actually irritate gums and are not as effective as a soft or medium-bristled brush. Electric toothbrushes may do a slightly better job of getting in between the teeth and encourage you to brush a little longer, but they don't offer a significant benefit over a regular toothbrush. A sonic toothbrush, however, can offer a slight benefit over a manual toothbrush, especially if you're lazy about brushing. But if you're not willing to shell out the money for a powered toothbrush, don't sweat it you can clean your teeth just as thoroughly without any fancy equipment.

Flossing Facts

Start with a long piece of floss, about 18 inches. Work your way through each tooth using a clean piece of floss, trying to floss around the curve of the tooth, instead of up and down. Floss gently, without going too far into the gum line to avoid bleeding and inflammation.

Insurance

Many companies offer dental insurance at a pretty low monthly rate, but is it worth it? Maybe. Most plans offer good coverage for preventative services like regular checkups. Even if the cost of the plan is about the same amount you would pay out-of-pocket, having insurance may make you more likely to go to the dentist in the first place. But dental plans often do not cover complicated or expensive procedures, so be sure to do your research before signing up for a dental plan.

Dealing with Dentist Dread

Many adults are just as nervous as children are about going to the dentist. Don't let your fear and anxiety keep you from getting regular checkups or your problems may get much worse, and more painful. If your anxiety is debilitating, seek out a doctor who is willing to help you with relaxation techniques or medication to get through the anxiety. Get your teeth checked twice a year to maintain the best oral health.

For questions about dental insurance, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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