Central Counties Health Center, Dental Care, Jacksonville Illinois, Kids, Springfield Illinois

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

No one likes a dirty mouth, especially when it’s your own. Keeping your oral health on track is a great way to keep bacteria at bay. Without proper dental hygiene, you are putting yourself at risk of developing issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. 

So, how do you ensure a healthy mouth? 

1 Floss every day 

Flossing is something you should do every day. There are things that brushing just can’t take care of, and that’s where flossing comes in. 

2 Brush twice a day for two minutes 

Brushing your teeth twice a day doesn’t only help battle morning breath, but it also helps reduce the chances that you’ll develop gum disease. So, every morning and every night, squeeze that toothpaste onto your toothbrush and get brushing for two solid minutes. 

3 Rinse with mouthwash 

Another thing that people forget, or think is optional, is mouthwash. Aim to make rinsing with mouthwash a regular occurrence after you brush and flush. This antibacterial rinse will help your mouth clean and will do wonders for your breath. 

Here are four steps for proper brushing: 

1 For the most effective brushing, tilt the brush at a 45-degree angle. 

2 Gently move the toothbrush back and forth but be careful not to be too rough. 

3 Get inside, outside, top, bottom, and everywhere in between.

4 Lots of bacteria live on your tongue so make sure you remember to brush that too. 

At Central Counties Health Centers, we offer dental services for children and adults, which include cleanings and exams, fillings, extractions, and select restorative services. Dental services through CCHC are available at our Cook Street location in Springfield, at HSHS St John’s Hospital in Springfield, at Hope Pavilion in Springfield, and in Jacksonville. 

Central Counties Health Center, Children's Health, Dental Care, Healthy Lifestyle, Jacksonville Illinois, Springfield Illinois

Do you know how to care for your child’s teeth?

Most children will have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are three years old. Teeth are at risk of decay the moment they appear. However, tooth decay is preventable.

Start cleaning your baby’s mouth the first few days after birth by wiping his or her gums with a clean moist washcloth.

Begin brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they come through and continue to brush twice daily until your child is comfortable doing it itself. Be sure to use a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount (for children three and above) of fluoride toothpaste. For children less than three years use a smear of fluoride toothpaste. It’s always a good idea to supervise children’s brushing and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.

As soon as your child’s first tooth appears it’s time to schedule a dental visit. The first dental visit should take place within six months of the first tooth appearing and not later than your child’s first birthday. Our dentists will even go to the pediatric side to do a visual exam with a child when called by the pediatrician. This introduces the child and parent to the dentist and many times they establish care after that initial visual exam. This is just one of the things we do to improve the oral healthcare of the children we serve.

The first visit to the dentist is mainly to examine your child’s mouth, check growth and development, discuss diet and hygiene, but it’s also an opportunity to help make your child comfortable with the process.

Here are five ways you can help in the fight against tooth decay:

  • Don’t share utensils with your child as you could transfer cavity-causing germs.

  • Feed them a healthy and nutritious diet.

  • Use fluoride toothpaste.

  • Make sure your child’s initial dental visit is no later than his or her first birthday.

  • Brush your child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day.


We offer a range of dental services for adults and children in Springfield & Jacksonville.

Call 217-788-2300 for more information or to book an appointment.