Achieving and maintaining good oral health is essential to looking and feeling great. No longer having to worry about bad breath or other oral problems is a good confidence booster. And having poor dental hygiene can also impair your ability to eat and speak properly in the long term. But how do you know if you’re dental habits are promoting good oral health? Luckily for you, Dr. Carrie Lintner, your Kalamazoo dentist, offers up some information and other tips to promote good oral hygiene!
What is Oral Hygiene?
Oral hygiene is the term dentist’s use in reference to keeping the mouth clean and healthy. Good oral hygiene means cleaning the teeth, mouth and gums regularly to prevent dental problems. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities, gingivitis (or gum disease), bad breath or even oral cancer.
How to Promote Good Oral Hygiene
You’ve probably heard it many times before, but be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly! You should brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss daily. Brushing your teeth often is the only way to remove plaque and bacterial build-up from the enamel of your teeth. Brushing frequently also helps remove stains created by every day habits such as drinking coffee and other dark liquids. Flossing regularly is going to remove remaining plaque and bacteria between the teeth. Remember that flossing is just as important as brushing! Be sure to ask your Kalamazoo Dentist if you’re doing everything you can to promote good oral hygiene.
Other Good Oral Hygiene Tips
- Brush after meals (3x per day) – Take a tooth brush and tooth paste with you to work so you can brush your teeth after lunch. Many people with excellent oral hygiene habits tend to sneak into the bathroom after lunch for a good brushing.
- Rinse your mouth often – Rinsing your mouth with antibacterial rinse or even water is a good way to remove bacteria. Rinses can also help with stains from coffee drinks and dark liquids. Sugar free chewing gum is also a great way to remove bacteria from the enamel and help prevent tooth decay.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco – Another adage you’ve probably heard from your dentist for years. Using tobacco can lead to halitosis and bad teeth stains. Not to mention tobacco greatly increases the risks for gum disease and oral cancer.
- Eat smart – We all know that eating a healthy, well balanced diet can reduce the risks of multiple diseases. But eating smart also helps promote great oral health. Some researchers believe that omega-3 fats reduce inflammation and therefore lower the risk for gum disease. www.mouthhealthy.org has some great information on diet and other oral hygiene tips.
- Floss daily using proper technique – Flossing daily is the only way you’re going to be able to eliminate debris and bacteria stuck between your teeth and around the gum line. Make sure to use the proper technique when flossing every day. If you don’t know how to properly floss, ask your dentist or hygienist for some tips on your next visit.
- Make your regular scheduled checkups – Make sure to keep your appointments and see the dentist during your regularly scheduled checkups. This way you’re staying ahead of the curve with oral hygiene and early cancer screenings (if necessary).
If you have any other questions or tips on what you should be doing to promote good oral health, ask your dentist! Feel free to call Lindenwoods Dental any time to speak with our staff or hygienists!