There are a wide array of benefits and advantages to having good oral hygiene. Oral health is essential to your overall wellbeing and can influence a variety of aspects in your life. Here are 5 important things to remember about oral hygiene, its importance, and what it takes to maintain good oral health for a lifetime.
1. The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
Maintaining your dental hygiene is vital to your happiness and health. By practicing the proper routine, lifestyle, and dental care, you can help keep your smile brilliant and beautiful. Our smiles can have an impact on first impressions, how people perceive us, our personal confidence, as well as have strong effects on your self-esteem and self-worth.
More than that, oral hygiene can be directly linked to your overall health. Your body is made up of many different kinds of systems that are all connected and work together to keep your body functioning properly. Your mouth is one of these systems, having substantial impacts on other areas of your health. Practicing good oral hygiene helps maintain your oral health, which has been closely linked to the following issues and complications:
- Chronic bad breath and bacteria build-up
- Gum disease and tooth decay
- Complications with pregnancies, including low birth-weight and premature birth
- Cardiovascular diseases and endocarditis (an infection that spreads through the bloodstream to the heart)
- Certain medical conditions like osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes, as well as certain cancers.
2. Brushing to Maintain Oral Health
As one of the most important aspects of oral hygiene, brushing your teeth should be a well-established part of your routine. Brushing your teeth properly can help keep your teeth white, as well as prevent serious issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and more.
You should brush your teeth twice each day with a high-quality toothbrush. The toothbrush should have soft, well-designed bristles that allow you to reach every area of your mouth easily. Your toothbrush should be replaced at least every 3-4 months, but sooner if you notice that the bristles are starting to fray. A proper cleaning can only be done by a proper tool.
The toothpaste you use is also important in brushing your teeth. Every person above the age of one should be using an ADA-approved, fluoride toothpaste. While brushing, your toothbrush should be angled at roughly 45-degrees and gently brushed back and forth along every surface of each tooth and gum area.
3. Why Flossing is Also Important
Good oral hygiene doesn’t just stop at brushing your teeth. Your toothbrush can only do so much, and it can be hard to get every bit of debris and bacteria that resides in the cracks and crevices of your mouth. This is where great flossing practices come in. Here are a few tips on what to do after brushing:
- After brushing your teeth, use between 12-18 inches of dental floss and wind a majority of it around one of your fingers. Wind the other side around the same finger, but on the opposite hand. The floss you are left with in between your fingers is what you will use to floss.
- Hold the floss tightly between your fingers and gently guide it between each tooth, using very gentle rubbing motions.
- Be careful while flossing around your gums and remove any particles that may have come out while flossing.
- After disposing of the dental floss, you may consider rinsing your mouth with a quality mouthwash. These mouthwashes as specially designed to deep-clean your mouth and kill bacteria.
4. The Role of Nutrition in Oral Health
Your lifestyle and diet can have significant impacts on your overall physical and mental health, so it should be no surprise that what you eat can affect your oral hygiene and health greatly. With the right diet and nutrition, your body can receive the elements it needs to fight infection and disease and regenerate tissue in the body, as well as the teeth, gums, and mouth.
Nutrition can have more immediate impacts on your oral health as well. Poor diets can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, stains and discoloration, enamel loss, and more. A well-balanced, nutritional diet can help maintain good oral hygiene and includes the following:
- Colorful plates at mealtime of vegetables, fruits, and sources of protein. The average person should be 2-5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2-3 servings of dairy, 2-3 servings of meat or protein, and 6-10 servings of healthy grains.
- A limitation on sugary foods and beverages, as well as starchy carbohydrates.
- A diet, maybe supplemented by vitamins, that provides the 25 essential minerals and 15 essential vitamins required for good health.
- Proper hydration by drinking enough water.
5. Routine Visits with the Dentist
Your dentist and his or her dental team are specially-trained to treat and maintain your oral health. Routine exams and visits are essential to early-detection, just as a routine physical exam is detrimental in the care provided by your physician. Everyone, including children, should see a dentist about every 6 months, for checkups and cleanings.
Routine visits can allow your dentist the opportunity to pay close attention to areas that are hard to manage on your own, like cleaning off plaque and tartar. These visits allow your dentist to help you maintain good oral hygiene by finding and addressing any possible issues with cavities, decay, and more. He or she will examine your teeth, as well as your gums, tongue, jaw, and neck. Your dentist can also provide you with tips and proper care instructions for optimizing your oral health.
In between your dental exams, good oral hygiene must be your responsibility. Your dental team can give you the proper knowledge, advice, and tools you need to practice the proper lifestyle, diet, and behavior that will maintain great oral hygiene. Here at Esthetix Dental Spa, we understand how important good oral hygiene is and we’re here to ensure your oral health is in optimum condition for years to come. To help you get started on your journey to better oral hygiene, contact the professionals at our office to set up your consultation today!