Good oral hygiene involves more than just regular brushing. It also involves regular visits to the dentist. You can’t see or reach all the areas of your mouth when you brush your teeth, which is why regular visits are the best way to care for your teeth. During dental visits, your dentist will be able to remove plaque and tartar buildup that you can’t remove on your own.
Benefits of good oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene habits are important to protecting your teeth and gums. They prevent the accumulation of plaque on your teeth, thus reducing the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Other benefits of good oral hygiene include the following:
- Prevent gum disease
- Prevent bad breath
- Keep the teeth looking beautiful
- Helps maintain good overall health
Tips for maintaining good oral hygiene
- Brush your teeth twice a day
Brushing your teeth twice a day is recommended by the American Dental Association. Brushing for at least two minutes helps remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth, thus preventing them from causing damage to your teeth and your gums.
- Flossing once a day
Flossing once a day is the minimum recommendation for most people. It can help remove plaque from between teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. However, if flossing once a day isn’t doing much for you as far as plaque removal goes, try flossing twice a day.
- Regular dental visits
Visiting the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning is the best way to maintain good oral hygiene. If you’ve let your oral health go, the dentist may recommend more frequent visits, such as every three to four months.
During your visit, we’ll examine your teeth, gums, and soft tissue for signs of disease. We may also take x-rays to help diagnose issues early. If we spot a problem, we’ll talk to you about your concerns and plan a course of treatment.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months
Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months or after an illness. Just like other personal hygiene items, toothbrushes harbor germs. When these germs come in contact with your teeth, they can cause infection.
- Don’t smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products
Tobacco use is a major risk factor for gum disease. Because the nicotine and tar in cigarettes and all forms of tobacco cause gum tissue to recede, tobacco use makes gum disease worse.
Smoking can also increase your risk of oral cancer. Tobacco users may need more frequent dental cleanings to prevent gum disease and oral cancer.
- Eat a healthy diet
Eat a healthy diet. The best foods for your teeth are those that are naturally abrasive, such as raw apples, celery, and carrots. They can help clean your teeth as you chew them. There are also foods that help keep your teeth strong, such as cheese, milk, and plain yogurt, so eat these in moderation.
- Stop using your teeth as tools
Using your teeth as tools can cause chips and cracks, as well as misalignment. So, stop using your teeth to open packets or cut things.
- Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks
Our mouths have naturally occurring microorganisms that feed on sugar. When sugar is consumed, it fuels the growth of the microorganisms, causing an increase in plaque and tooth decay. Hence, you should limit the number of sugary foods and drinks you consume.
To learn more about the importance of good oral hygiene, visit Down to Earth Dental at 1407 W 29th St, Pueblo, CO 81008, or call us at (719) 546-0404 to schedule an appointment.