Maintaining healthy teeth and gums isn’t just about having a beautiful smile, although doing so is certainly essential for accomplishing that goal. It’s also about maintaining overall health. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t take their oral health as seriously as they should. This is a complete manual for anyone who wants to start improving their oral hygiene and keeping their teeth and gums healthy.
What Is Oral Hygiene?
The term oral hygiene refers to the process of keeping a person’s mouth clean and the teeth and gums healthy. Most people associate it exclusively with home oral hygiene practices like daily brushing and flossing. However, scheduling and attending twice-annual cleanings and routine exams at Merion Village Dental are also musts for supporting good oral hygiene.
Why Bother With Oral Hygiene?
Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best form of preventative care for the mouth. It involves preventing serious conditions like tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis from developing instead of waiting until there’s already a problem to take action. Preventative care is by far the best way to maintain good oral health and avoid the many consequences of gum disease and tooth decay.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Healthier Teeth
Most people interested in learning how to improve their oral health are already aware of the basics. Hopefully, they already brush twice daily and floss every day. There are, however, many other ways to help maintain healthy teeth. They include the following.
Using the Right Oral Healthcare Products in the Right Ways
There are right ways and wrong ways to brush teeth. Getting it right starts with buying the right products, which should include:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush that is replaced at least every three months
An ADA-accepted toothpaste that contains fluoride
A high-quality mouthwash
In some cases, more specialized products may also be required. These products must be used correctly, which means spending at least two minutes per session brushing and flossing tightly around each tooth.
If you check out this dentist in Little Falls, they will also advise you to use mouthwash after flossing and brushing to ensure that your mouth is thoroughly cleaned.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Sugar is one of the teeth’s worst enemies, so limiting it can be very helpful for avoiding cavities. It’s also best to avoid consuming too many acidic foods or drinks, as they can wear away the teeth’s enamel. Healthy dietary habits to support oral health also involve limiting between-meal snacks.
Schedule Regular Cleanings
Scheduling regular cleanings is the best way to make sure teeth stay clean and healthy. Dentists and hygienists can also offer advice about better at-home practices.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Healthier Gums
Following an oral hygiene routine that protects the teeth can also protect the gums, but there are additional steps people can take. For healthier gums, patients should:
- Stop smoking cigarettes, which can dramatically increase the chances of developing gum disease.
Flossing well to prevent gingivitis-causing plaque from building up near the gum line.
Using an antibacterial mouthwash.
Avoiding dry mouth by staying hydrated, breathing through the nose, and using non-alcohol-based mouthwashes.
There’s Always Room for Improvement
For those who haven’t always been as careful as necessary about oral hygiene, the first step is to schedule an appointment with a qualified dentist. An exam and consultation will offer an idea of where someone’s oral health stands currently and what could be done to improve it. Of course, people who maintain excellent at-home oral hygiene standards should still be visiting dentists to keep those smiles looking bright and beautiful.