Good oral hygiene is critical for maintaining healthy gums and teeth. However, the effects of oral health go beyond teeth and gums. Studies have established a link between oral health and overall health. Most oral health issues are preventable through an excellent dental care routine, both at home and with a dentist.
Tips for proper oral hygiene
Patients need to be proactive about their oral hygiene habits. Some important tips to keep teeth and gums healthy include:
Brush correctly and regularly
Dental professionals believe brushing twice daily and flossing is good enough for a healthy oral cavity. Brushing is highly effective for cleaning plaque and bacteria from the teeth, but it is only good if done correctly. When brushing, do it in short circular motions, cleaning the back, front, and side of each tooth. The process should ideally take about two minutes. Back and forth brushing motion should be avoided.
Brushing aggressively or with a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause tooth enamel deterioration and gum damage. This may cause tooth sensitivity, gum erosion, and permanent damage to the enamel. It is better to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste when brushing. Dentists also recommend changing toothbrushes every three months or whenever the bristles start to look frayed.
Flossing removes the plaque and bacteria lodging between teeth, an area inaccessible by a toothbrush. It also cleans food debris that is trapped in teeth crevices, preventing bad breath. Dentists always stress the importance of flossing during dental appointments.
The recommendation is to place the floss between the teeth and close to the gum line before rubbing it against the tooth sides with up and down movement. The floss should not be rubbed on the gum unnecessary as it may cause pain and does not clean plaque properly.
Visit the dentist regularly for cleaning
Despite good oral hygiene at home, it is necessary to visit the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings every six months. During the checkup, the dentist will perform a professional cleaning to eliminate plaque and tartar from the mouth – the process is more thorough than regular cleaning at home. Tartars do not come off through brushing. Also, the dentist will be able to clean hard-to-reach areas and crevices of the mouth.
Patients who have an excellent oral hygiene routine and are at less risk of oral health issues may visit the dentist less frequently than others. It is advisable to talk to the dental professional about the frequency of the visit. The answer depends on the patient’s dental health history, age, and risk of oral issues. However, it is necessary to visit the dentist if any symptoms appear in the mouth.
Good oral hygiene can prevent most of the issues that affect the teeth and gums. From brushing and flossing to consuming a healthy diet and visiting the dentist regularly, maintaining oral health is hardly a hassle. Also, it helps your overall health as well. If you would like more tips on oral care, schedule an appointment with the dentist.
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