Proper oral hygiene is not only important in achieving and keeping a healthy smile, but a clean mouth can also help prevent many other health conditions and diseases. Additionally, some recent studies have shown a connection between healthy gums and prevention of some cardiovascular diseases and issues.
There are four main areas to focus on when developing healthy and beneficial oral hygiene habits. While each focuses on a specific part of the mouth, it is the combined effect that will prove the most beneficial.
Use the right toothbrush. There is a wide variety of toothbrushes available in nearly every store. However, the most important thing to look for when selecting a toothbrush is to ensure it is accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA). A soft-bristled, ADA-accepted toothbrush used twice a day, is the first step in your oral hygiene routine.
There is no alternative to flossing. Flossing between teeth can help remove plaque and tarter build-up missed by the brush. While mouthwashes, especially antiseptic types, help kill germs and bacteria, they do little to remove plaque and tartar. Flossing with either string floss or a water flosser at least once a day will help keep build-up between the teeth at bay.
Watch what you eat and drink. Especially if you have porcelain crowns or veneers, certain foods or drinks can cause staining or even erosion of your teeth. Avoid chewing things like hard candies and ice that can cause small cracks in the enamel of your teeth. Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet will also help strengthen your teeth from the inside.
Maintain regular visits with your dentist. Although the steps above can go a long way in preventing most oral health issues, a regular check-up with a dentist can be the last thing needed to maintain a healthy mouth. Visits spaced 6 months apart, or more frequently if you have orthodontic appliances, will allow the dentists to remove any build-up you may have missed before it hardens and becomes more difficult to remove.
If you want to learn more about maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine, or schedule a dental exam, call Dr. Larry Evola at Forestream Dental in Depew, NY, at 716-656-8686, or visit www.forestreamdental.com.