By making just a few easy changes to your daily routine, and giving yourself just a few reminders each day, you can improve your oral hygiene for major health benefits, and a positive step towards a better you.
Hygiene At Home
Some simple commitments at home can pay big dividends in oral health.
According to the Canadian Dental Association (CDA), making sure to brush after meals and at least two times a day plays a big part in removing food and bacteria from the teeth and gum line.
If plaque is left on your teeth for too long, it can turn into a hardened substance (tartar), and cavities can form. This eventually leads to tooth decay and even tooth loss.
Flossing regularly is just as important to oral hygiene as brushing your teeth. Often, food gets trapped in spaces where a broad toothbrush can't reach. Combined, flossing and brushing greatly increase the overall cleanliness of teeth and gums.
For some reason, many people think that brushing is enough to prevent cavities. But, to promote a healthy mouth, people need to invest in brushing, flossing, and rinsing. If you do all these things, you will notice a big difference in the way your teeth feel.
Be aware, though, that mouthwash and rinses can vary drastically in their effectiveness. With antimicrobial rinses and cosmetic rinses producing different effects on the mouth, individuals should consult with their dentist about the right mouthwash choice, and frequency of use.
Another helpful at-home hygiene tip is to examine your mouth on a routine basis. That way, you may be able to recognize any new problems, possibly preventing bigger problems before they erupt.
We spend at least one-third of our daily lives at school or at work. This is a significant amount of time, so it is important to dedicate some of your time away from home maintaining good dental habits.
After lunch, a quick floss and/or brush can go a long way. Cleaning teeth at work or school is incredibily important, but many people leave dental hygiene to the comfort of their own bathrooms. Unfortunately, without cleaning after those cafeteria or company lunches, food and plaque will fester in your mouth all day long.
People undergoing orthodontic treatment especially should focus on brushing and/or flossing after every meal. Using either a toothbrush or special orthodontic flosser, those with braces or Invisalign should maintain their orthodontic equipment diligently.
Caring for Your Orthodontic Appliances
One of the worst things an orthodontic patient can do is to neglect his or her orthodontics.
Foreign objects in the mouth, like braces and Invisalign trays, can become a hotbed for bacteria if they are not carefully cleaned and maintained. Orthodontics are meant to enhance a patient's smile, but without good hygiene habits the patient will most likely have other dental problems besides teeth misalignments.
Keep Dental Appointments
Perhaps the hardest habit to keep is that of routinely visiting the dentist. Though many people don't like visiting the dentist, it is an extremely important element of your overall oral health, and is the best way to prevent serious dental problems before they arise.
Many people think that if they have great dental habits, they don't need to visit their dentist as often.
Unfortunately, teeth and gums can degrade with time. Through the bloodstream, teeth and gums can become infected regardless of brushing and flossing habits. Dental checkups, however, don't take much time, are generally painless, and can help prevent these problems and other serious complications.
Common knowledge suggests that people should have a dental appointment every six months, however, this number can vary depending on several factors. Depending on oral health, genetics, orthodontic treatments, and habits, a dentist may suggest appointments anywhere from six times per year to two times per year.