Six Habits of a Healthy Mouth

Everest Institute Dental Assistant Instructor offers easy-to-adopt dental best practices

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 10/22/2013, 12:06 p.m.
October is National Dental Hygiene Month, which is the perfect time to “brush up” on dental hygiene best practices. According ...
October is National Dental Hygiene Month.

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, which is the perfect time to “brush up” on dental hygiene best practices. According to a World Health Organization fact sheet, nearly 100 percent of adults have dental cavities, revealing that we should all pay a little closer attention to our oral hygiene!

Everest campuses across the country offer a dental assistant program that prepares students through technical and practical training for careers in aiding licensed dentists. Tezzra Williams, a Dental Assistant Instructor at Everest Institute - Houston Hobby campus provides six easy habits to adopt for a healthier mouth.

Q. How often should I brush my teeth?

A. Most dentists recommend brushing after every meal, and at a minimum, you should brush your teeth after breakfast and before bedtime. Twice a day will keep the cavities away! But be careful not to routinely brush more than three times a day – too much brushing can wear away tooth enamel and irritate gums, which can lead to infection and inflammation.

Q. How much does my diet affect my dental hygiene?

A. What we eat and when we eat it matters a lot to our teeth. Best practice is to limit snacking, particularly with foods high in sugar or starch. Snacking affects our teeth more severely because the food stays in your teeth longer between brushings. Food lodged in and around our teeth is fuel for the bacteria in plaque, which then produces acid. If you snack too often, these repeated acid attacks will break down enamel surface and lead to a cavity.

If you cannot avoid a snack and don’t want to “over brush” your teeth, chewing sugarless gum will help clear the lodged food out.

Q. Any particular foods that should be avoided?

A. Sugar, sugar, sugar. What many people don’t realize is that all carbohydrate foods eventually break down into simple sugars. This includes the obvious sugary foods like cookies, cake, soft drinks, and candy. But don’t forget about the less obvious foods such as bread, certain fruits, crackers, cereals and chips. When paired with the bacteria in your mouth, all of these foods form acids that begin the process of tooth decay.

Q. Do fluoride products, such as mouthwash, actually make a difference?

A. Absolutely, and especially for people who can’t stay away from the sugary foods! The fluoride in mouthwash prevents decay in teeth. It also triggers a natural process called remineralization, which builds minerals back up in damaged or decaying teeth.

Q. How often should I visit the dentist?

A. Most people should see a dentist twice a year, but recommended frequency of visits depends on your dental history. Smokers, diabetics, and people with history of cavities or gum disease should try to visit every four months.

Q. Do you have any flossing best practices?

A. Do it! Many statistics say that nearly 80 percent of people do not floss. It’s a habit that is difficult to keep, although it does not take long. By reserving a quick 30-seconds each night, you will remove particles of food and bacteria that brushes miss and significantly improve your oral health over time. An additional tip is to floss before brushing. This exposes tooth surface areas that can benefit from the fluoride in toothpaste.

About Everest in Texas

Everest Colleges, Institutes, and Universities provide career-oriented diploma and degree programs in the healthcare, skilled trades, business and information technology fields. Everest in Texas has approximately 4,100 students at nine campuses located in Arlington (Midcities), Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio. Everest has nearly 100 schools in the U.S. and Canada, and is owned by Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. For more information, visit

 Programs, program lengths and program schedules vary by campus. Campuses vary by state. Everest College, Everest Institute and Everest University are part of the Everest family of schools. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at