Oral hygiene involves taking proper care of your teeth, gums and tongue to ensure they remain healthy. A large part of suitable oral hygiene takes place at home and involves daily brushing and flossing rituals to maintain the health of your smile. Professional teeth cleanings are also a crucial aspect of oral care. Proper oral hygiene can help to prevent, manage, and treat many oral problems, in many instances keeping minor conditions from worsening.
Which oral issues can be prevented with good oral hygiene?
Proper oral hygiene practices can help to treat and prevent the following issues:
- Bad breath
- Canker sores
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Receding gums
Professional teeth cleanings can help to remove excess plaque buildup that may contribute to some of these issues.
What are examples of proper oral hygiene practices?
Bacteria can live in our mouths and cause a buildup of plaque, a sticky material that accumulates on our teeth. Certain foods, such as sugars and starches, are significant sources of plaque. In order to remove plaque, it is important to adhere to the following recommendations:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a toothbrush containing soft bristles
- Brushing is most effective when using short back and forth motions
- Floss your teeth once a day to remove plaque in between your teeth
- Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can cause bad breath
- Store your toothbrush where bacteria cannot grow and allow it to air dry
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
- Eat a balanced diet, reducing the amount of sugary snacks between meals
- See your dentist every 6 months for a professional cleaning and check up
Many of the methods used to maintain good oral health are dependent on at home practices in between visits to the dentist. With that being said, it is extremely important to carry out daily preventative care. The benefits of carrying out proper oral hygiene include having teeth that are clean and free of bacteria and plaque, as well as healthy gums that do not hurt or bleed. Oral hygiene also prevents your breath from smelling badly. A healthy mouth will make you feel confident and happy about the appearance of your smile.
When should you make sure to see the dentist?
Although it is recommended to see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup, it is advised that you see your dentist sooner if certain symptoms occur such as:
- Persistent bad breath
- Tender or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when brushed or flossed
- Sensitivity to hot or cold food and /or drink
- Loose permanent teeth
- Appearance of receding gum
Early detection of the above oral issues can help to prevent more severe conditions from occurring and ensure good oral health. Contact our office to schedule a check-up.