Good oral hygiene is very important to your overall happiness and comfort, not only because it can work to prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease, but because it can also help to protect against or detect other, general health problems such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and more. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry has reported that greater than ninety percent of systemic diseases cause oral signs and symptoms–many of which can be seen by dentists and then more quickly addressed.
You may not have realized it, but your saliva has an important job to protect your mouth against the bacteria that can cause diseases. Unfortunately it cannot do this alone, and sometimes bacteria builds up into the plaque that coats your teeth. Remembering to brush and floss your teeth properly and regularly can help prevent the plaque buildup on your teeth that can eventually turn into tartar. It can also prevent the plaque buildup on your gumline that commonly leads to gingivitis, and potentially to periodontitis. Needless to say, infections in the teeth and gums can result in partial or complete loss of teeth, and it can also sometimes result in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other major health problems.
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene means that your teeth and gums are clean and free from the bacteria and other particles that can cause health problems, that your gums are a healthy pink color and do not hurt or bleed when you are brushing and flossing, and that your breath smells healthy. It also means that you are able to eat and speak comfortably and properly, and are not self-conscious about your oral health. Maintaining good oral hygiene includes:
- Brushing your teeth properly at least twice a day.
- Flossing your teeth properly at least once a day.
- Using proper dental products to help kill bacteria, such as toothpaste, mouthwash and other products that contain fluoride.
- Visiting your dentist at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings and examinations.
- Carefully following your dentist’s instructions regarding improving or maintaining your oral health.
Dentists and dental hygienists are deeply invested in helping you to establish good oral hygiene habits, so they are always willing to take the time to instruct you in proper brushing and flossing techniques and answer any and all questions you may have about your oral hygiene and health. The most important thing to remember when it comes to oral health issues is that prevention is best, and with the right habits and attitude, you can maintain the oral hygiene that will help you to live healthily, happily and comfortably.