Good oral hygiene means the practice of keeping one's teeth and overall mouth clean and healthy by following good routines.
Why Is Good Oral Hygiene Important?
Good oral hygiene is important for so many reasons. For one, it can help prevent bad breath. Bad breath, or halitosis, can be embarrassing and impact self-confidence.
Good oral hygiene can also help prevent tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and several other oral diseases. Brushing and flossing help remove the plaque that forms on the teeth and along the gum line. This plaque contains bacteria that eat away at the tooth, leading to tooth decay.
Additionally, poor oral hygiene can make it difficult to eat and speak properly.
Oral Hygiene Basics
- Brush your teeth twice a day
First, brush your teeth first thing in the morning. This will help remove plaque buildup from your teeth before you eat or drink anything. Plaque buildup that is not removed can eventually turn into tartar and cavities.
Second, brush your teeth right before you go to bed. This will help remove any plaque buildup from your teeth before you sleep. Plaque buildup that is not removed can eventually turn into tartar and cavities.
- Floss your teeth once a day
Dental professionals always emphasize the benefits of flossing your teeth once a day. This is essential to remove any food debris and plaque from between the teeth and beneath the gums.
- Use mouthwash
Mouthwash makes sure that you're cleaning the parts of your teeth that the toothbrush can't reach. Mouthwash also kills bacteria and freshens your breath. While you don't need mouthwash each time you brush your teeth, rinsing with mouthwash can help your mouth feel extra clean.
- Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet has many benefits to your oral health. A nutritious diet can help keep your teeth free of decay and your gums healthy.
- Eating a healthy diet helps ensure that your body has all it needs to fight bacteria.
- Healthy foods provide your body with the nutrients it needs to fight infection.
- A healthy diet helps you avoid tooth decay.
- A healthy diet can keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- A healthy diet can help you avoid gum disease.
- A healthy diet can help you maintain good overall health.
- See your dentist regularly
Seeing your dentist regularly is another important step in maintaining good oral hygiene. Regular cleanings and examinations give your dentist a chance to find and treat cavities early before they get worse.
- Replace your toothbrush regularly
The American Dental Association recommends that you replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Also, if you ever get sick or are recovering from surgery, replace your toothbrush sooner.
A toothbrush that isn't replaced often enough accumulates bacteria that can increase your risk of getting sick. Also, a toothbrush that isn't replaced often enough won't clean your teeth effectively.
- Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco
Tobacco is highly toxic to your teeth. It causes discoloration and staining, as well as gum disease and tooth loss. Tobacco use also increases your risk for oral cancer. If you are trying to quit, your dentist can help you put together a plan. You can also ask your dentist about nicotine gum, patches, or lozenges.
To learn about our dental procedures, call Desert Mountain Dental at (520) 324-0100 and schedule an appointment or visit our Tucson dental office.