Oral hygiene and health go hand in hand, when one is in good condition, usually so is the other. But you may be wondering, what exactly is oral hygiene? Briefly stated, it is the practice of keeping one’s mouth clean and free of disease along with other problems.
Brushing and flossing are staples in a good dental routine. However, there are other things you can do to help maintain healthy teeth and gums, which will benefit your overall wellbeing.
How Important is Oral Hygiene?
Forgetting to care for your teeth and gums can lead to all kinds of issues. Oftentimes these issues stem from being poorly educated about proper hygiene practices. Tooth decay is the most common global disease which often results from trapped food in the teeth which are not properly being brushed. Other issues like gum disease, tooth loss, and cavities also occur from not knowing the basics of oral hygiene.
Whilst there is no one-stop solution to better oral hygiene; it’s recommended individuals pay close attention to how their habits can influence their oral health. Opting for healthier options can not only improve your mood and all-round health, but your dental health can also flourish as a result.
REPLACE YOUR TOOTHBRUSH
As a general rule, changing it about every 3 to 6 months should keep it in shape to clean your teeth properly. Damaged or frayed toothbrushes can’t clean the surface of your teeth correctly and can cause damage to your gums. Replacing your toothbrush often also allows you to help keep it clean. Always rinse your toothbrush well and store it so it can dry. Remember to replace your toothbrush if you’ve been sick to prevent bacteria from being re-introduced into your mouth.
USE DENTAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS
Brushing and flossing are key to preventive dental health, but you can help keep your teeth in top condition by incorporating supplemental aids into your routine as well. Examples of these products include mouthwash, oral irrigators, interdental cleaners, and tongue cleaners. These aids can help support good oral health and should be used in conjunction with (not instead of) regular brushing and flossing.
It’s recommended to floss every night before brushing to remove anything your toothbrush is unable to dislodge. Many patients admit to skipping this step, but it is an important part of a healthy routine. If you only brush and decide you don’t need to floss, small particles of food and other deposits that are missed by your toothbrush can eventually develop into decay. To avoid this, make sure you take two minutes a day to add flossing to your routine. When you first start flossing, it may cause sensitive gums to hurt. This is natural and will stop once you’ve been flossing for a couple days. When flossing, make sure you slide it up and down along the whole tooth. Don’t ignore tight spaces, this is one of the most important places to floss as your toothbrush can’t reach these areas.
- Eat Healthy: It may sound simple, but a poor diet can be a big contributor to dental issues and eating a well-balanced diet works as a form of prevention against common dental problems. Sugar, for example, is commonly associated with dental cavities and can be particularly bad for teeth.
- Establish a tooth care routine: For most people, this will consist of brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing once per day. Consistency is key with your routine and executing on it daily will provide the best results over time.
- Avoid Smoking: Smoking can stain and damage teeth, resulting in an unhealthy look and increased risk of certain dental infections.
- Regular dental check-ups: Seeing your dentist regularly is key to knowing where you can improve with your oral hygiene. Our trusted dentists in Tampa Florida happily accommodate individuals for regular check-ups.