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Proper dental hygiene and daily oral care will benefit your teeth, mouth, and gums. Yet, most people think that it’s the dentist’s job to take care of people’s teeth. It’s quite true but the fact is, it’s the responsibility of every individual to take care of his teeth first before going to the dentist.
When we talk about dental care many people think about those trips to the dentist every 6 months. You DO go to the dentist regularly don’t you? OK, many of us don’t because of the time involved or the expense. The second best way to protect your teeth is to follow a regular dental care regimen at home.
This would include not only brushing your teeth with a quality toothbrush but also using some type of dentifrice or toothpaste and regular use of dental floss. Flossing is probably the least used but most effective way to clean areas of your teeth that cannot be reached with brushing alone.
You First, Before The Dentist
Simple personal dental care such as brushing and flossing are enough to maintain the hygiene of the mouth and teeth. Dentists are only for treating and curing abnormalities and diseases of the mouth, as well as for giving regular oral prophylaxis at least twice a year.
If you would just depend on your dentist for the hygiene of your mouth, you would surely be spending a lot of money. As they say, prevention is better than cure. That’s why you should be responsible enough to prevent cavities and other teeth and mouth-related diseases from existing in your mouth.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the importance of dental hygiene, in that a lack of dental hygiene poses risks to their overall health. Do you want to keep your natural teeth and a healthy body into your senior years?
If yes, these oral health habits can prevent the growth of harmful oral bacteria that can cause problems in more than your teeth.
Good Dental Hygiene and Care Checklist
- Brush your teeth after every meal, or at least morning and night if that is not possible. Use a soft toothbrush and brush gently around your teeth and gums in a circular motion. Make sure that your whole mouth, including the tongue, is covered with your toothbrush to get rid of residues on your tooth surface to reduce plaque and mouth odor.
- Replace your toothbrush after 3 to 4 months to ensure that your teeth will be cleaned properly.
- Use toothpaste with calcium and fluoride, and you can gargle a fluoride mouthwash afterward. They will strengthen your tooth enamel and protect against tooth decay.
- Use mouthwash if you cannot brush your teeth after meals.
- Floss in between your teeth at least once daily, preferably in the evening. This will remove food particles and plaque in between your teeth that a toothbrush cannot remove. It will improve your oral health.
- Substitute unhealthy foods with a healthy balanced diet, one that is good for building strong teeth. Instead of high carbs and sugary foods, eat foods high in fiber and other nutrients needed for oral health such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus to prevent tooth decay.
Examples are fatty fish because it lessens the risk of tooth decay and green leafy veggies that are prebiotic and which healthy bacteria like to feed on. Dark leafy veggies are also rich in minerals that will aid in the mineralization of your teeth to strengthen the enamel.
Meanwhile, avoid highly acidic and processed foods because they have no essential nutrients. Acidic fruits, coffee, all kinds of soda, and tea can destroy your tooth enamel. Their acidity may contribute to gum inflammation, tooth decay, and disruption of your oral health.
Avoid crackers because they turn into sugar that oral bacteria can feast on. Dried fruits are lacking in water and become caramelized.
- Supplement your daily diet with Vitamins A and C to develop healthy gums and ward off gum diseases. Also, ample amounts of citrus fruits, dairy products, and eggs assist in good oral health.
- Drink more water after every meal and eat chewy fruits and veggies. Hydration is important to keep your body and your mouth healthy. It washes out food particles and removes the damaging effect of acidic and sticky foods and drinks from your mouth. Water induces saliva, which has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory attributes. It keeps your mouth clean by washing out the residues and acids created by bacteria.
- Avoid smoking.
- Have a professional dental check-up and cleaning every six months so that your dentist can examine your teeth and detect and remedy any dental problem early. This is to avoid expensive and painful treatments that will be needed if this dental problem becomes severe.
Top 5 Signs Of Good Dental Hygiene
During routine check-ups, your dentist and hygienist can give you the right feedback on the general health of your mouth, teeth, and gums. In between dental visits you may know the state of your oral health by the following indications:
- You have no persistent foul-smelling breath.
- Your gums are constantly in the ‘pink of health.’
- Your gums do not bleed or are not sensitive while brushing or flossing.
- Your teeth are clean and free from tooth decay, cavities, plaque, and tartar.
- Your teeth look clean and bright.
The Last Word
Have you ever thought, “If I had known then what I know now or If I had my life to live over again I would change…?”
Actually, there is not too much I, personally would have done differently. But there is definitely one health-related subject I would like to have known more about and adhered to early childhood hygiene practices.
So, let’s not waste time. Let’s brush up on gum and mouth hygiene practices. Let’s promote dental hygiene whether through annual dental hygiene week for kids or dental hygiene shirts or whatever.
If you follow the above tips you will enjoy the benefits of a healthy mouth, gums, and teeth and look your best when you smile. Lastly, it will save you from having oral health problems and accompanying health complications. So, be orally mindful and you’ll forever be grateful.
And don’t forget folks – keep smiling!
Related Article: 11 Best Practices for Healthy Teeth