Good oral hygiene is important for a variety of reasons.
The first is that poor oral hygiene is responsible for many dental problems. Plaque buildup along teeth and below the gum line can lead to cavities. Plaque also leads to gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease can also cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream, which can result in heart disease.
The mouth also is the doorway to the rest of the body. If your oral hygiene is lacking, you are more susceptible to infections and illnesses elsewhere in the body. Gum disease, for example, has been linked to diabetes, cancer, and stroke.
Good oral hygiene at home includes:
We recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes, which is the amount of time it takes to brush your teeth thoroughly. As a general guideline, you should spend about 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth, including all of your teeth and the spaces in between.
Brushing your teeth after you eat meals can significantly help reduce the amount of plaque in your mouth. This can help reduce the risk of tooth decay and other dental problems.
Dental floss is designed to remove debris and plaque from between teeth. Flossing should be done once a day, ideally before you go to bed.
When patients use mouthwashes containing alcohol, they can often experience a burning sensation in their mouths. However, alcohol-free mouthwashes are just as effective at killing bad oral bacteria, and they don't burn or sting.
Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash after eating. This can help inhibit the growth of oral bacteria and reduce the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
Sugary foods and beverages are known for causing cavities. This includes things like candies, cookies, cake, fruit juices, and sodas. If you're craving something sweet, consider reaching for a piece of sugar-free gum. This can help clean your teeth and freshen your breath.
While at-home brushing and flossing work to remove plaque and prevent tartar buildup, regular dental visits are essential for maintaining your oral health. Every six months, you should visit the dentist for a cleaning and checkup. This appointment allows your dentist to remove tartar buildup and check for signs of tooth decay and gum disease.
Visit Jeanne V. Devi DDS at 595 E Colorado Blvd Suite 603, Pasadena, CA 91101 for the best dental care, or call us at (626) 795-2544 to book an appointment.