Dental hygiene is important for maintaining a good overall health. Having a consistent dental hygiene care in place ensures that you won’t suffer from tooth decay that can result in extractions being required. If your dental hygiene is adequate to none, you could be allowing bacteria to grow in your mouth and infections to take place. These infections include gum diseases like gingivitis or even periodontitis, which, in the worst cases can cause the bone structure underneath the teeth to decay to the point where your teeth will fall out. Infections can also go to the bloodstream which can cause sepsis and other severe blood disorders.
The good news is that in order to have a good oral dental hygiene, you will need to develop a few basic habits so that you can avoid having problems with your oral health. Some of these habits are as follows:
1. Eat a Balanced Diet:
Eating a balanced diet is vital to ensuring that your oral health stays at its premium. Beyond providing adequate nutrients to your body, a balanced diet limits processed foods and artificial dyes and sweeteners that are “hardest” on our teeth. This helps ensure that our teeth enamel is not worn through. Also, many foods like fruits and vegetables can even help “clean” our teeth to keep them healthy for longer.
2. Limit Sugary Drinks:
Drinks with a lot of added dyes and sugars like sodas and teas can stain the teeth, not to mention all the added and unnecessary sugars you add to your diet. If you are going to enjoy sugary drinks, limit them to one or two drinks per day, and at least rinse with water when you are done to keep the sugars from sitting on and destroying your teeth.
3. Limit Processed Foods:
Processed foods are full of sugars and chemicals that can cause some havoc on your oral health. Choose healthier, whole food options as much as you can and make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to help rinse out your mouth after each meal/snack to keep the complex sugars and other chemicals from ruining your teeth.
4. Chew Sugarless Gum:
Chewing sugarless gum that is approved for good oral health by the American Dental Association (ADA) can help remove any extra sugars or other compounds from breaking down the enamel on your teeth which can result in cavities and eventually in tooth decay.
5. Don’t Chew on Foreign Objects:
Many people have habits of chewing on pen caps or biting their nails. These habits can be hard to break, but chewing on those kinds of objects can cause teeth to chip or break, which can result in expensive procedures and a damaged smile.
6. Brush Daily:
Be sure to use an American Dental Association (ADA)-certified toothbrush that has small bristles and is rounded in shape to brush your teeth at least 2x daily. Ideally this is done after breakfast and again before bedtime each day.
7. Floss Daily:
Many people believe brushing is enough, but the truth is that flossing is also equally important. Ensuring you floss once per day (preferably before bedtime) guarantees that you are removing the food particles that get caught between your teeth instead of letting that bacteria sit and build up on your teeth overnight. Flossing daily keeps your gums healthy and can help prevent gingivitis from taking hold as well.
8. Visit Your Dentist Regularly:
Be sure that you are visiting your dentist at least once every 6 months for regular oral examinations. This will protect your teeth from cavities and other problems that can arise. Seeing your dentist twice a year also helps you address any issues immediately before they worsen.