Everyone loves a clean mouth. At Blue Turtle Dental, we are all about promoting healthy mouths. In our article, we discuss how you can have dental hygiene and keep it squeaky clean.
Why Is Dental Hygiene Important For Your Health?
Poor dental hygiene can lead to inflamed and infected gums and eventually tooth decay and loss. According to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), around 75% of Americans have periodontal disease, which is linked to more serious illnesses.
Without proper dental hygiene, you are at risk of developing several oral and health conditions such as heart diseases, pregnancy complications, pneumonia, etc. On the reverse side, some health conditions such as diabetes and osteoporosis can cause dental problems, which makes practicing dental hygiene even more crucial to reduce the risks.
Dental Hygiene Tips For A Healthy Mouth
Practicing oral hygiene and keeping it on track helps keep harmful bacteria at bay. At Blue Turtle Dental, we advocate a simple oral hygiene routine that you can include easily in your busy lifestyle.
We only ask you to stay committed and consistent with our suggested dental hygiene regimen. It should take only a few minutes of your time each day.
Here are our simple and effective dental hygiene tips.
- Brush Twice Daily For Two Minutes
Brushing your teeth is the most important prevention method for cavities, plaque, and gingivitis.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes, each using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for adults as well as for babies and toddlers by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Dental Association.
If you’re using a manual toothbrush, tilt it at a 45-degree angle and brush gently to avoid damage to your enamel. Brush in soft circles inside, outside, top, bottom, and in between your teeth to remove bacteria and plaque. Also, brush your tongue to remove the harmful bacteria that can live there and cause bad breath.
Electric brushes are better than manual brushes, as studies have proven. Electric brushes have indicators to help you know if you’re brushing too hard and for how long.
- Floss Daily
Flossing is ideal to clean the ‘hard to reach’ places in your mouth, like in-between your teeth and up under your gum line. It removes the food particles and plaque buildup in those areas and prevents tooth decay, gum disease and formation of tartar.
If you’re new to flossing or not regular with it, then you might notice that your gums may bleed. People think that it’s because they hurt themselves with flossing. This is a wrong assumption, as the bleeding results from inflammation and early gum disease. Continue to floss daily carefully and the bleeding should stop as your gum becomes less inflamed with time. But first, inform your dentist about your teeth bleeding after flossing for their advice to rule out the possibility of an underlying condition.
The order of brushing and flossing doesn’t matter. The advantage of flossing first is that it allows the fluoride in your toothpaste to get in between your teeth better and keeps the enamel strong and free from decay.
- Use A Mouthwash
Most people think using mouthwash is optional. But if you’re serious about your dental hygiene, then mouthwash is a must.
Brushing and flossing help clean less than half of your mouth. Rinsing your mouth with an effective mouthwash can help eliminate harmful germs, plaque, and prevent gum disease.
However, not all mouthwashes are the same. There are two distinct types:
- Cosmetic mouthwash: This helps control bad breath but only temporarily. See a dentist for a permanent solution to bad breath.
- Therapeutic mouthwash: This controls a variety of dental issues, such as bad breath, infection, decay, plaque, and gingivitis. This has a more lasting effect, compared to cosmetic mouthwash.
Depending on your condition, you can opt for any of the two kinds of mouthwash. We suggest using any good antimicrobial, non-alcohol-based mouthwash with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Chew Sugar-free Gum
Brushing more than twice a day can hurt your delicate enamel. To keep your teeth clean all day, a good idea is to chew sugar-free gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance for around 20 minutes, preferably after a meal.
Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates the secretion of more saliva that helps rinse away bacteria from your mouth. It also spreads disease-fighting substances in your mouth.
However, be cautious, as excessive gum chewing can strain and damage your teeth and jaw. Those with alignment issues can be prone to muscular tension and pain.
- Get A Professional Dental Cleaning Done
Using the above four hygiene steps daily can help keep your mouth healthy. But that isn’t enough.
Professional dental cleanup is a step up from your home dental hygiene regimen. There will still be areas in your mouth that are not effectively cleaned with brushing and flossing.
A regular dental checkup starts with an examination that can detect an underlying dental issue. Regular checkups can lead to early diagnosis and treatment for any dental issue. It’s also an opportunity for you to discuss and clear any queries about your dental hygiene and any other underlying condition. Based on your responses, your dentist can help you with the right care for your teeth and gums.
Visiting your oral dentist in Palo Alto is a mandatory step in your dental hygiene regimen.
Keep It Clean, Keep It Healthy
We need to take dental care and hygiene seriously by taking action daily. It doesn’t take much of your time daily. Also, it’s just 2 dental checkups in 365 days.
That’s the least we can do for our health. If you’re due for your dental checkup, call us now to schedule an appointment.
Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article may be drawn up from multiple public health sources, including:
American Dental Association’s MouthHealthy.org
California Dental Association
American Dental Association’s Action for Dental Health
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention