Dental hygiene is a big part of our overall health, and we should care for it because if we don’t, it can lead to more significant health problems. Cavities are the most common dental problem; they occur when bacteria form and live in our mouths. Bacteria causes plaque to build up on our teeth, which is the leading cause of cavities. Plaque also causes gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.
But it’s not just about preventing cavities and gum disease. Dental hygiene is vital for our overall health because unhealthy gums can allow bacteria to enter our bloodstream and cause serious health problems. Some of these problems include heart disease, stroke, and pneumonia.
So what can we do to keep our teeth and gums healthy? Here are some dental hygiene tips that everyone should take into consideration:
Brush Your Teeth Well
While it’s already common knowledge that you should brush your teeth after every meal, we still want to mention it here. Mindlessly brushing your teeth and using a set amount of time to determine whether you’ve brushed your teeth well is not a good idea. While time is a good indicator of how much you’ve brushed your teeth, it’s not a practical measurement. The best way to ensure you’re brushing your teeth well is by checking them out in a mirror. That will help you see if there is any leftover debris between and around your teeth.
Another tip is to use fluoride toothpaste because it will help reduce the risk of cavities. There is also toothpaste made specifically for people with sensitive teeth. Whatever the case, make sure you’re using toothpaste that works best for you.
Clean That Tongue!
Don’t forget to clean your tongue every time after you brush your teeth. One of the major causes of bad breath is the build-up of bacteria on your tongue. Tongue scrapers are an excellent way to clean your tongue and prevent bad breath. All you have to do is scrape your tongue from back to front a few times. You can also use your toothbrush to brush your tongue, but make sure you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush, so you don’t hurt yourself. The last thing you want is a scratched and bleeding tongue.
If you don’t have a tongue scraper or soft-bristled toothbrush, you can use your regular toothbrush, but be very gentle. Some people find brushing their tongues more comfortable after brushing their teeth because their toothbrush is already wet. See what works best for you and stick with it.
Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth because it helps remove plaque and bacteria from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Toothbrushes cannot get deep in between our teeth, so you need to floss to clean those areas effectively.
Floss at least once a day; the best time to do it is before brushing your teeth at night. That way, all the plaque and bacteria you removed during the day won’t have a chance to build up overnight.
Mouthwash is a great way to supplement your brushing and flossing habits. It helps remove any plaque and bacteria you may have missed while brushing and flossing. Depending on your dentist’s recommendations, you can use mouthwash once or twice daily. Just make sure you’re using a mouthwash that contains fluoride.
When using mouthwash, ensure that you allow it to get through all sides of your teeth. Rinse your mouth with it for at least 30 seconds before you spit it out. Not only will it help deter plaque build-up, but it will also leave you with minty fresh breath!
Visit Your Dentist
Even if you’re diligent about your dental hygiene habits, it’s still essential to visit your local dentist regularly. Your dentist can spot any problems that you may not be able to see, such as cavities and gum disease. If there are any, they’ll be more than happy to help you treat them accordingly.
They can also provide professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth that not even your best dental hygiene habits can remove. Only dentists can help give you an in-depth and proper cleaning of your teeth and mouth.
Depending on your dental health, you should visit your dentist at least once a year. You may need to see your dentists more frequently if you have any underlying dental problems that need special attention or close monitoring.
Taking care of your teeth and mouth should be one of your top priorities. Not only is it essential for your oral health, but it’s also necessary for your overall health. By following the tips mentioned above, you can develop excellent dental hygiene habits that will serve you well for years to come!