Good oral hygiene is necessary to keep teeth and gums healthy. It involves habits such as brushing twice a day and having regular dental checkups.
Your own everyday habits are crucial to your overall oral health. Still, even the most dutiful brushers and flossers need to see a dentist regularly. At minimum, you should see your dentist for cleanings and checkups twice a year. Not only can a dentist remove calculus and look for cavities, but they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.
It’s no secret that the general recommendation is to brush at least twice a day. Still, many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth at night. But brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate throughout the day.
The way you brush is equally important — in fact, doing a poor job of brushing your teeth is almost as bad as not brushing at all. Take your time, moving the toothbrush in gentle, circular motions to remove plaque. Unremoved plaque can harden, leading to calculus buildup and gingivitis and early gum disease.
Many who brush regularly neglect to floss. Flossing is not just for getting little pieces of food or broccoli that may be getting stuck in between your teeth, as It’s really a way to stimulate the gums, reduce plaque, and help lower inflammation in the area.
Flossing once a day is usually enough to reap these benefits.
Don’t neglect your tongue. Plaque can also build up on your tongue. Not only can this lead to bad mouth odor, but it can lead to other oral health problems. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.
We shouldn’t have to say this but smoking harms the body’s immune system, which makes it difficult for the body to heal tissues, including those in the mouth. People who smoke may experience slow healing after a dental procedures. Smoking also affects the appearance of the mouth, leading to yellowing of the teeth and tongue, and it can give breath a bad odor.
Water continues to be the best beverage for your overall health — including oral health. Also, as a rule of thumb, we recommend drinking water after every meal. This can help wash out some of the negative effects of sticky and acidic foods and beverages in between brushes.
Ultimately, sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can then erode the enamel of your teeth. These acids are what lead to cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also wear down tooth enamel. While you don’t necessarily have to avoid such foods altogether, it doesn’t hurt to be mindful.
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