Taking care of your teeth is more than just having a brilliant smile. Good dental hygiene helps support your overall health and well-being. You can take care of your dental hygiene by brushing your teeth, gums, and tongue twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay. Pair everyday care with visiting a dental provider for a cleaning and checkup twice a year, or every six months. This can greatly reduce risks of issues such as tooth decay and gum disease, as well as other types of health issues.

Observe National Dental Hygiene Month by taking care of your mouth in six ways:

• Brushing twice a day for two minutes (with fluoride toothpaste)

• Flossing regularly

• Rinsing with mouthwash

• Scheduling a dental visit

• Quitting smoking

• Eating a healthy diet

It is easy to forget about brushing your teeth, but remember, a good dental hygiene routine at home is the best way to prevent serious illnesses. You can prevent periodontal disease, which can lead to diabetes and even stroke. Dental care can be costly, but you can find low-cost dental care by calling your county or state health department to find dental clinics near you that charge based on income.

Source: Dr. Natalie Jones, Extension Specialist in Family Health

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