Do you understand the importance of oral hygiene? More than just preventing cavities, proper oral hygiene can protect the health of your entire body. What is oral hygiene? It goes far beyond your regular visits to the dental hygienist. Oral hygiene begins with the way you take care of your teeth at home, and we’ve got some oral hygiene tips to help you set yourself up for success.
A good oral hygiene routine can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. By taking proper care of your mouth, you can help prevent cavities and gum disease. When oral health is neglected, though, it can result in pain, loss of self-confidence, and tooth loss. Further, these problems can lead to malnutrition, speech difficulties, and other challenges. Poor oral health can also cause issues that affect other systems in the body, including the cardiovascular system. The problems caused are serious enough to be considered a global health burden. Fortunately, there are a few habits you can adopt to improve your oral hygiene and, by extension, your health.
- Brush, brush, brush! Brushing your teeth three times a day, after each meal, will make sure that all food particles are removed from your teeth and gums. When food isn’t stuck between your teeth, your breath will be better and you’ll be less likely to develop cavities and gum disease. Technique matters: brush for two to three minutes, actively brushing each tooth and spending about 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth. Brush by placing the bristles at your gumline and rolling them downward, rather than sawing back and forth, which can damage your gums. Finish by brushing your tongue to remove bacteria.
- Replace your toothbrush often. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and consider an electronic model. Making these choices will ensure that your teeth are thoroughly cleaned but you’re not scrubbing hard enough to inflict damage on your gums and enamel. Replace your toothbrush every three months and if you’re unsure if you’re using the right brush, talk to your dentist.
- Be diligent about flossing. Flossing is a small thing, but it is very important because it removes the food stuck between your teeth before it can turn to plaque. At a minimum, floss before bed. Ideally, floss after each meal. If flossing causes your gums to bleed, talk to your dentist about the possibility of gingivitis. If your gums are sensitive, a water flosser is a great alternative to traditional floss.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking is bad for your entire body, so it’s never a good idea. It’s particularly bad for your mouth, though, because it can cause tooth discoloration, bad breath, and serious concerns like mouth and lung cancer. If you smoke, you’re likely to experience infected gums and weakened teeth, and dental implant procedures are less likely to be successful.
- Ease up on the coffee. A daily cup of coffee can be helpful in raising your energy levels, but regularly drinking dark-colored beverages like coffee and red wine can lead to stains on your teeth. Additionally, coffee contains acid that can be rough on your enamel. To limit the exposure your teeth have to coffee, consider drinking your coffee through a straw.
- Pack your diet with nutritious produce. Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery can help clean your teeth and stimulate your gums. Additionally, the nutrients you get from eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins will help promote your oral health as well as your overall health.
- Tame your sweet tooth. Sugar consumption puts you at a higher risk for cavities. That’s because cavities are caused by bacteria, which thrives when it’s able to feed off sugar. Sugar-free eating means a cavity-free mouth.
- Consider mouthwash. Mouthwash, particularly antibacterial mouthwash, adds an extra layer of defense against cavity-causing bacteria. By getting into the crevices and soft tissues in your mouth, mouthwash can rinse away bacteria you can’t always reach by brushing and flossing. Ask your dentist about good options, and look for a mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, indicating safety and efficacy.
- Build a relationship with your dentist. Some people refrain from seeing the dentist until something is wrong, but being proactive is the best way to keep your mouth healthy. Schedule regular dental appointments so that your dentist can catch small issues before they become major problems, and so that you can ask your dentist any questions that may be weighing on your mind about oral hygiene and health.
When you need dental healthcare, trust the doctors at Atlanta Dentures. Located in Marietta, GA, we’ve proudly served the dental needs of the Atlanta metro area for more than 35 years. We’re a family-owned and operated business that takes pride in offering affordable dentures and dental procedures while providing each patient with a pleasant, personalized experience. We’re the community’s go-to dental office, and we offer a wide range of services, including dental crowns and bridges, dental implants, dentures, root canals, sedation dentistry, tooth replacements, and tooth extractions. We’re even here when you have a dental emergency, and our dedicated doctors implement all available tools to offer premier denture and dental services and ensure a comfortable dental visit. To schedule an appointment, call or contact us through our website.