Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene

Dental hygiene refers to the practice of keeping the mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy to prevent dental problems such as cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other oral health issues.

Why Dental Hygiene Matters

Preventing Oral Diseases

The primary goal of dental hygiene is to prevent oral diseases such as cavities, gum disease, and oral infections. Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on our teeth. Without regular removal, plaque can harden into tartar, leading to tooth decay and gum inflammation. Proper dental hygiene practices help to eliminate plaque and prevent its harmful effects.

Connection to Overall Health

Oral health is closely linked to overall health. Poor dental hygiene can contribute to various systemic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and complications during pregnancy. Maintaining a clean and healthy mouth reduces the risk of these health issues and promotes overall wellness.

Aesthetic Benefits

A healthy smile is not only a sign of good health but also a confidence booster. Proper dental hygiene helps prevent tooth discoloration, bad breath, and unsightly dental problems, ensuring you can smile confidently in any situation. Call us to learn more.

Effective Dental Hygiene Practices

Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of good dental hygiene. Follow these tips to maximize its effectiveness:

  • Use the right toothbrush: Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush with a comfortable handle. Electric toothbrushes can be more effective at removing plaque.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities.
  • Brush twice a day: Brush for at least two minutes each time, covering all surfaces of your teeth.
  • Proper technique: Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use gentle, circular motions. Avoid aggressive scrubbing that can damage enamel and irritate gums.

Flossing Daily

Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between your teeth and under the gumline, areas that a toothbrush cannot reach. Use about 18 inches of dental floss, wrapping most of it around your middle fingers and leaving a few inches to work with. Gently slide the floss between your teeth, curve it around each tooth, and move it up and down to clean the sides.

Using Mouthwash

Using an antimicrobial or fluoride mouthwash can provide additional protection against plaque and tooth decay. Mouthwash helps reduce bacteria in the mouth, freshens breath, and reaches areas missed by brushing and flossing.

Attending Regular Dental Checkups

Routine dental visits are crucial for maintaining good oral health. Dr. Christopher S. Woodard, DMD, recommends bi-annual checkups and cleanings. These appointments allow for the early detection and treatment of potential issues, professional removal of tartar, and personalized dental hygiene advice.

Healthy Diet

A balanced diet supports oral health by providing essential nutrients for strong teeth and gums. Limit sugary and acidic foods and beverages that contribute to tooth decay and erosion. Instead, focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and dairy products.


Drinking plenty of water helps rinse away food particles and bacteria, reducing the risk of plaque buildup. It also stimulates saliva production, which plays a vital role in neutralizing acids and protecting tooth enamel.

Common Dental Hygiene Mistakes

Inconsistent Brushing and Flossing

Skipping brushing or flossing, even occasionally, can lead to plaque buildup and increased risk of dental problems. Consistency is key to maintaining oral health.

Using the Wrong Technique

Improper brushing and flossing techniques can be ineffective or even harmful. Aggressive brushing can erode enamel and damage gums, while incorrect flossing can cause gum irritation. Ensure you are using the proper methods to clean your teeth effectively.

Neglecting Dental Visits

Many people underestimate the importance of regular dental checkups. Even if your teeth and gums appear healthy, underlying issues can go unnoticed without professional evaluation. Routine visits to Woodard Family Dentistry ensure comprehensive care and early intervention when needed.

Ignoring Gum Health

Gum health is as important as tooth health. Signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, bad breath, and gum recession, should not be ignored. Proper brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning are essential for preventing and managing gum disease.

Dental Hygiene at Different Life Stages


Establishing good dental hygiene habits early in life sets the foundation for lifelong oral health. Parents should:

  • Supervise brushing and flossing: Ensure children use the right amount of fluoride toothpaste and brush properly.
  • Limit sugary snacks: Encourage healthy eating habits and limit sugary snacks and drinks.
  • Regular dental visits: Schedule regular dental check-ups to monitor oral development and address any issues promptly.


Teenagers face unique dental challenges, including orthodontic treatments and lifestyle choices. Encourage them to:

  • Maintain oral hygiene with braces: Special tools, like interdental brushes and floss threaders, can help clean around braces.
  • Avoid tobacco and vaping: These habits can harm oral health and overall well-being.
  • Wear mouthguards: For those involved in sports, wearing mouthguards prevents dental injuries.


Adults should prioritize dental hygiene to prevent and manage oral health issues. Tips include:

  • Monitor for gum disease: Pay attention to signs of gum disease and seek treatment promptly.
  • Manage stress: Stress can lead to teeth grinding (bruxism), which can damage teeth and gums. Stress management techniques and using a nightguard can help.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to maintain saliva flow and oral health.


Aging brings additional dental health considerations, such as dry mouth and increased risk of oral diseases. Seniors should:

  • Stay hydrated: Combat dry mouth by drinking water and using saliva substitutes if necessary.
  • Maintain dentures and implants: Clean and care for dentures and implants to prevent infections and maintain oral health.
  • Regular Checkups: Continue regular dental visits to monitor oral health and address age-related issues.

How Woodard Family Dentistry Supports Your Dental Hygiene

At Woodard Family Dentistry, Dr. Christopher S. Woodard, DMD, and his team are committed to providing comprehensive dental care and education to patients of all ages. Here's how they support your dental hygiene:

Personalized Care

Every patient receives personalized care tailored to their unique needs. Dr. Woodard and his team take the time to understand your oral health history, concerns, and goals to develop a customized dental hygiene plan.

Preventive Services

Preventive dental services, such as cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants, are essential for maintaining oral health. Regular checkups allow for early detection and treatment of potential issues, preventing more serious problems down the road.

Patient Education

Education is a key component of dental care at Woodard Family Dentistry. The team provides valuable information on proper brushing and flossing techniques, dietary recommendations, and other tips to help you maintain optimal oral health at home.

Advanced Technology

Woodard Family Dentistry utilizes advanced dental technology to enhance patient care. From digital X-rays to intraoral cameras, these tools allow for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment planning.

Comprehensive Treatment Options

In addition to preventive care, Woodard Family Dentistry offers a wide range of dental services, including restorative treatments, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics. Whether you need a filling, a crown, teeth whitening, or braces, you can receive comprehensive care in one convenient location.


Maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial for achieving and preserving a healthy smile. By following effective dental hygiene practices, avoiding common mistakes, and seeking regular professional care, you can enjoy the benefits of strong teeth and gums throughout your life. At Woodard Family Dentistry in Spokane Valley, WA, Dr. Christopher S. Woodard, DMD, and his team are dedicated to supporting your oral health journey with personalized care, advanced technology, and a commitment to patient education. Schedule your next dental visit today and take the first step towards a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Are you ready to experience top-quality dental care for your entire family? Visit Dr. Christopher S. Woodard, DMD, at Woodard Family Dentistry, conveniently located at 1020 S Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206. Don't wait any longer to take care of your oral health. Call us today at (509) 924-8585 to schedule your appointment or to learn more about our comprehensive dental services.

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Spokane Valley, WA

1020 S Pines Rd, Spokane Valley, WA 99206


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