Maintaining healthy teeth and a healthy mouth is important for your overall physical health. Poor oral hygiene has been associated with many conditions including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It can also have a negative effect on your psychological well-being and rob you of your self-confidence.
This is why you should do everything you can to stay in good dental health by preventing tooth decay and gum disease.
Brush twice a day and floss every night
In the morning you should brush your teeth to get rid of the bacteria biofilms that form on your teeth overnight. If left on your teeth they become calculus and lead to both gum disease and tooth decay. At night you should floss before you brush to remove food particles and plaque that may have been left between your teeth during the day. Be sure to floss before you brush so the toothpaste has a chance to come in contact with your teeth and gums unimpeded. If flossing is not for you, consider adding a rinse with mouthwash into your oral hygiene regimen. While not as effective as flossing, it can remove plaque and food particle in areas your toothbrush is unable to reach.
See the dentist twice a year
Practicing preventative care is the most important step in keeping bacteria in check and dental disease at bay. Your dentist and dental hygienist will do their part when you come in for your regular check-ups with meticulous cleanings, a thorough examination, and preventative treatments like sealants and fluoride. Most importantly, they will review proper at-home care and nutrition with you so you can do your part. A few moments of prevention can mean an entire lifetime of good oral health.
Stay away from sugary foods
Some bacteria in our mouths can stick to our teeth. These bacteria take the sugar from our diet and utilize it in their internal process in order to survive. One of the by-products of their internal processes is acid which eats away at the enamel on our teeth. This leads to a weakening of the tooth and results in tooth decay.
Don’t subject your teeth to undue stress
Habits like chewing on pens and nail-biting can, over time, change the structure of your teeth and can fracture our teeth. In addition to becoming an aesthetic concern, this can alter the positioning of your teeth in your mouth and result in misalignments and possibly tooth decay.
In addition to being terrible for your overall health, smoking inflames our gums which can lead to gum disease, and also cause staining of your teeth. Smoking is also a significant risk factor for oral cancer.
Talk to your dental hygienist about preventative dental procedures
If you have questions about your oral health routine or if you are looking for some tips on how to do a better job of preventing oral health problems, your dental hygienist will be able to give you some pointers.
Below are three videos that discuss and demonstrate the optimal methods for brushing, flossing and cleaning your tongue. The final video discusses oral hygiene in general.