Neglecting your oral hygiene can have very negative consequences. Bacteria in your mouth accumulate on your teeth and along your gumline, producing an acid that progressively attacks the enamel. This can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums contributes to your overall health by staving off some illnesses (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, etc.). Indeed, microorganisms enter the body through the mouth. Poor oral hygiene contributes to their proliferation, leaving them to migrate toward other organs.
This is why it is so important to adopt a proper oral hygiene routine for clean, healthy teeth.
In general, the following three habits are essential to good oral health:
- Brushing your teeth
- Using dental floss
- Getting regular, complete cleanings by a dental hygienist, including polishing and tartar removal
Carefully brushing all of your teeth is the first step to dental health. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, although ideally you’d brush after each meal. It is really important to brush your teeth before you go to bed.
For optimal results, brush your teeth for at least two minutes. To ensure you’re brushing long enough, try playing a song or using a timer. This trick works really well with kids!
A regular toothbrush works very well. Just make sure you buy one that has soft bristles, so as to not damage your gums, and a small, narrow head, to ensure it’ll clean even hard-to-reach places. You could also consider purchasing an ultrasonic electric toothbrush.
- Toothbrushes should be changed regularly, about every three months.
About 1 cm of toothpaste is enough. The brushing action is what really does all the work.
Nonetheless, toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride better protect against cavities. Although mouthwash is not an absolute requirement, it does contribute to good oral health when used once a day.
Flossing is the last step. It enables you to remove any food particles stuck between your teeth and keeps your gums healthy. Use floss at least once a day, preferably before going to bed.
Good oral hygiene and healthy eating habits will help prevent cavities and other dental problems, in addition to contributing to your overall health. All of these steps make a big difference!