Collection of mouth wash, flossing instruments, toothbrushes and other oral health care items

Submitted photo

April is Oral Health Month

By Capt Frida Van Straaten

Posted on Thursday April 8, 2021

Has “mask mouth” been getting you down? As our battle against COVID-19, and its regulations rages on, the members of 1 Dental Unit Detachment Petawawa have some fun suggestions to maintain those pearly whites.

Brush your teeth twice a day, preferably in the morning and after your last meal. The daily removal of plaque, the soft, bad-breath causing debris you can feel and see on your teeth, will help you maintain a healthy mouth.

Plaque, like the military, follows an order of operations. The initial bacteria invites others, and the colony grows the bacteria causing cavities and gingivitis; red, swollen tissue that can bleed easily. As our body reacts to the waves of bacteria a “life over limb” reaction ensues, attacking the bacteria but reducing our jaw bone as well.

This bacterial brigade can be conquered by a consistent routine. If you are using a manual toothbrush make sure it has soft or extra soft bristles as you can cause gum damage and tooth brush abrasion, by brushing off your gum tissue and enamel.

Feel free to speak with a member of your team about an electric toothbrush, which may simplify your efforts. Place the toothbrush head along the gum line and let technology do all the work.

Remember, daily plaque removal only needs gentle pressure.

Flossing is another exciting, rewarding way to pass your time. Floss between your teeth gently, then curve your floss around each tooth separately and move up and down to remove bacteria and food debris.
Repeat on each tooth, including behind your last molar as plaque hides there frequently.

Taking responsibility for your oral health means consistent daily efforts. Invest in your smile, it’s the only one you have.