Most people are taught to brush their teeth from an early age, but at the time we don't fully appreciate how integral this oral hygiene practice is for keeping our teeth and mouth in good condition and for protecting our overall health. In fact, even now you may be surprised to discover that studies have uncovered a link between poor oral hygiene and many general health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke and some types of cancer. Gum disease in particular is thought to be responsible for many of these conditions, since it occurs when bacteria from plaque travel from the teeth and onto the soft tissue of the gums, where they can then penetrate the bloodstream and pass around the body. Poor oral hygiene can also cause issues such as decay, severe dental pain, staining and even tooth loss that will affect the appearance and function of your teeth.Nevertheless, everyone deserves to have healthy teeth and gums, and here are some of the best oral hygiene practices for making this a reality.
You probably think that you already brush your teeth properly, but just how much attention do you pay to what you are doing when you clean your teeth? Many of us cut short the recommended two minutes of brushing twice each day, because unless you time it precisely, it can be quite tricky to estimate just how long two minutes is. Many of us are also guilty of brushing haphazardly rather than methodically, and this means that it's likely that we aren't brushing evenly and giving each tooth adequate attention. A little more focus can significantly improve the effectiveness of our brushing and boost our oral health.
Not all toothbrushes and toothpastes are created equal so it's crucial to get the right equipment. Choose a brush with soft bristles, as these won't damage your gums. Round-headed versions are ideal as they are smaller and easier to manoeuvre around inside the mouth. While manual toothbrushes are perfectly acceptable, studies have found that electric varieties are more effective at removing plaque due to the rapid speed with which they oscillate. When it comes to your toothpaste, be sure to check the label and look for a fluoride variety as fluoride strengthens the teeth and protects them from damage.
Flossing is massively underrated by many people, but it is a small action that could make the difference between you developing gum disease or keeping your gum tissue healthy and bacteria-free. This is because flossing is designed to remove the plaque that a toothbrush can't, which is typically found in the tiny, almost microscopic spaces between the teeth. Daily flossing is recommended by all dentists, and there are different types of solution now available if conventional string flossing is difficult to get to grips with.
Sugar is one of the key ingredients responsible for dental problems. Found in a wide variety of both healthy and unhealthy foods, it is sugar that interacts with the bacteria in our mouths to produce plaque, and then plaque acids that lead to areas of decay. Excess plaque that isn't removed through brushing increases your risk of gum disease. Needless to say, all dentists will encourage you to limit your sugar intake and to brush regularly after meals to limit the damage that this sweet substance can cause to your oral health.
While the majority of the responsibility for taking care of your teeth falls to you, your dentist is on hand to offer expert advice, professional cleaning and treatment to preserve your teeth, smile and oral health when it is required. Regular professional dental cleanings are necessary to remove any areas of plaque that you may have missed which may have enabled the plaque to harden into tartar - a thick, hard substance that adheres to the teeth and can only be removed using professional tools. Meanwhile, the earlier any dental problems are detected, the sooner they can be treated and better the outcome is likely to be for the patient.For more advice on the best oral hygiene practices for healthy teeth and gums, get in touch with our expert dental teams today at one of our convenient locations Breckenridge: 970-453-4244 or Salida: 719-215-4150.