Do you have proper oral hygiene? Are you confused about what exactly that means? What does proper oral hygiene entail? Fortunately, Adams and Cheek Dentistry is here to help!
October is National Dental Hygiene month. To help recognize this important month, we wanted to review the importance of proper oral hygiene.
First and foremost, everyone’s mouth and health is different which means that what may be proper oral hygiene for one person could look completely different from what works for another. That being said, there are definitely common practices to ensure optimal dental health.
Go to the dentist!
Visiting a dental professional at least every 6 months for preventative care appointments is an essential part of proper oral hygiene. Your dental hygienist will clean your teeth, perform a periodontal exam to determine gum health, and provide you with customized dental hygiene advice. Your dentist will perform an exam and determine if you have any cavities or abnormalities in your mouth.
Brush and Floss!
Back to the basics! Brushing and flossing are ESSENTIAL parts of proper oral hygiene. You should be brushing a minimum of two times every day. The most important time of the day to brush is before bed. Everything that you eat, drink, and breathe in throughout the day contains bacteria which can, in turn, cause decay. If you do not brush off this debris and bacteria before you go to bed, you are at a much higher risk for tooth decay. Brush two times a day for at least two minutes. Don’t forget to brush your tongue! Flossing has been shown to be even more effective in preventing gum disease than brushing. Flossing is absolutely necessary to maintain proper dental hygiene. The surfaces where your teeth come together are not cleaned by brushing alone. You need to reach floss in between these teeth to clean these areas. We recommend flossing at least once a day!
Using an antimicrobial or fluoridated mouth rinse can help lower bacteria loads and prevent future cavities. Rinses access all areas of your mouth including your cheeks, tongue, and gums. They are relatively easy to use and can help battle bad breath. If you have lots of dental restorations in your mouth, a fluoride rinse is the best choice for you. Rinses such as ACT or Listerine Total Care have added fluoride which is absorbed into the surface of teeth, strengthening the tooth surface and aiding in the prevention of future decay. If you have not had many cavities, but are battling bleeding or inflamed gums, choose an antimicrobial mouth rinse such as Listerine. These rinses will kill some of the bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath.
As we mentioned, every mouth is different and different people require different oral hygiene routines. Speak to your dentist about what other aids could help you at home. If you have braces or a fixed retainer, Superfloss or floss threaders are great tools to help you floss. If you have bridges or limited dexterity, a Waterpik could be very helpful!
Remember, no two mouths are exactly the same. However, with the help of dental professionals and a dedicated dental homecare routine, you can get on track with your dental health! Call Adams and Cheek Dentistry today to set up a free consultation or click here to schedule online.