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October is many things; Halloween, Breast Cancer Awareness month, National Dental Hygiene (NDYM) month, and National Orthodontic Health month! At Family Smile Center LLC in Frederick, Maryland, Drs. Peter Cha & Danny Dinh want to wish our patients a happy fall season while taking care of their smile health.

The message for National Dental Hygiene month is known as “Do The Daily 4”. These are the four most important parts of a preventative oral health regimen, and we recommend them to our patients:

1- Brushing those pearly whites twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Doing this will lessen plaque to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

2- Flossing in between your teeth and gums once a day. You can use dental floss or interdental brushes. Doing this will remove food particles and plaque in those places where your toothbrush can’t reach.

3- Rinsing with an anti-microbial mouthwash once a day. This will help freshen breath, and most important of all, help prevent gum disease. Make sure to find a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance on the packaging. This ensures the product is both safe AND effective.

4- Chewing sugarless gum. This is to boost your daily regimen, by “cleaning” your teeth after eating and drinking when you can’t brush your teeth. Chewing stimulates saliva production which neutralizes plaque acids, remineralizes enamel and washes away food particles. Chewing sugar-free gum will get saliva on the job, stat!

While all of these will help maintain your child’s healthy smile, Halloween and its school parties are also here, which means you need some extra protection for their smile health. To prepare your child for Halloween you may consider having dental sealants put on their teeth. Encourage them to eat candy that is easily rinsed away, such as powdered candies which dissolve easily, and help them avoid chewy, or hard, sticky candies. Encourage drinking water or milk after snacking on sweets, as water will help rinse away bacterial film, and milk has a high pH which helps offset the acid in the candy.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a dental checkup and cleaning for your child, please call our dedicated team in Frederick, Maryland, at 301.663.9484. Dr. Peter Cha & Danny Dinh and all of us at Family Smile Center LLC wish you and your family a frightfully healthy Halloween!