Dental hygiene is the process of keeping the teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy. Many people consider regular brushing and flossing to be the only actions required to maintain good dental hygiene. While certainly important, much more is required to attain optimum oral health.
Why is dental hygiene important?
Dental hygiene is incredibly important to remain healthy. Everything that you eat or drink leaves behind a residue in your mouth. When not properly cleaned, this increases the amount of germs and bacteria in the mouth to unhealthy levels, increasing your risk for many different health problems.
What are the adverse effects of poor dental hygiene?
Poor dental hygiene leads to a variety of different problems. Bad breath, or halitosis, is the most common effect of poor dental hygiene. Another common problem is discolored , missing, or decaying teeth. These issues are very off-putting to others, affecting your social and professional life. More importantly, poor dental hygiene can lead to very serious health issues, such as oral cancer and gum disease. Various studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. It's essential that you care for your mouth properly.
What are the key aspects of a good dental hygiene regimen?
Regular brushing of the teeth is key. Teeth should be brushed twice daily at a minimum, to prevent plaque buildup. Using fluoride toothpaste aids in strengthening the teeth and protecting them against decay. It's important that all areas of the teeth are brushed carefully to remove as much food as possible. Flossing is also very important, and should be done at least once daily. When flossing, be sure that you clean between all of the teeth, not just those in front. An oft ignored area of the mouth is the tongue. Cleaning the tongue each time you brush your teeth removes decaying food and bacteria known to cause infection and disease. Vital to any good dental hygiene program is routine professional teeth cleaning. At least twice per year is recommended.
Good dental hygiene extends beyond cleaning and maintenance, however. The foods that you eat, the liquids that you drink, and your habits all have an impact on your oral health. Please feel free to ask Dr. Godfrey about ways to set up and maintain healthy oral hygiene habits; he can offer many tips and tricks to help you quickly settle into a more healthy routine.