While many people are familiar with basic oral hygiene such as brushing their teeth regularly, there are other steps that should be taken as part of an effective preventive oral hygiene routine. In this article, we will discuss what constitutes preventive oral hygiene and why it is so important.
What is Oral Preventive Hygiene?
Oral preventive hygiene is an important part of a comprehensive dental health plan. It involves the regular practice of preventative measures to help keep teeth, gums, and other mouth structures healthy. This includes brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day, and using a tongue scraper or other antiseptic rinse.
The Role of Oral Hygiene in Preventive Dentistry
Preventive dentistry is about more than just brushing and flossing. It is the practice of proactively detecting and treating dental issues before they become more serious, which can save time and money down the road. Oral hygiene is a key component of preventive dentistry as it helps to keep teeth clean and healthy.
Here are some of the ways that preventive oral hygiene helps maintain healthy teeth and gums:
#1. Reduces Bad Breath
Regular tooth brushing and flossing help to remove food particles, plaque, and bacteria from the mouth that can cause bad breath. In addition, using a tongue scraper or antiseptic rinse can help to break up bacteria colonies on the tongue that are responsible for bad breath. Visiting the dentist regularly also helps to catch any potential issues in the mouth that could be causing bad breath.
#2. Reduce The Risk of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Brushing twice daily helps to remove plaque buildup, which is a sticky film that contains bacteria and builds up on the teeth and gums. Flossing once per day also helps to remove food particles and plaque between the teeth that brushing alone cannot reach. Without proper removal of plaque, it can harden and turn into tartar which can increase the risk of developing tooth decay, periodontal disease, and other oral health issues.
#3. Reduces The Risk of Developing Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is a serious and life-threatening condition, but it can be prevented with proper oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly helps to remove bacteria from the mouth that can cause inflammation and irritation to the gums, which can increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Visiting the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings can allow dentists to detect any early signs of oral cancer before it becomes more serious.
#4. Helps Maintain a Beautiful Smile
When brushing and flossing are done properly, it helps to keep teeth clean and free from plaque and tartar that can cause discoloration. Regular visits to the dentist also allow dentists to clean deeper than brushing and flossing can reach, leaving teeth looking brighter and whiter.
#5. Lowers The Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
Good preventive dental hygiene is important for more than just healthy teeth and gums – it can also help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and other health conditions. Research has shown that bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the heart, which can increase its risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, coronary artery disease, and heart disease.
Common Oral Hygiene Practices
For healthier teeth and gums, here are some of the most common oral hygiene practices that can help reduce the risk of developing dental issues:
- Brush regularly and properly: Brushing your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste is essential for good oral hygiene. It is important to brush for at least two minutes each time and make sure to reach all surfaces of the teeth, including the back sides and chewing surfaces. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months or when it appears worn out.
- Floss every day: Flossing is an essential part of oral hygiene and should be done at least once a day to remove plaque, bacteria, food particles, and other debris from between the teeth. Be sure to use a clean section of floss for each tooth and gently move the floss up and down in a sawing motion.
- Eat a balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet that is low in sugar and high in fiber can help to keep teeth and gums healthy. Additionally, drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps to rinse away any leftover food particles or harmful bacteria in the mouth.
- Avoid smoking and drinking: Tobacco products and alcoholic drinks can have a negative effect on oral health, as both can increase the risk of developing oral cancer or other serious oral diseases. It is best to avoid these substances in order to maintain optimal oral health.
Regular Dental Visits Keep Your Mouth Healthy and Happy
Preventive oral hygiene is important, but regular dental visits are also essential for good oral health. During these appointments, your dentist will be able to check for any signs of decay or disease and provide preventative treatments such as dental cleanings and sealants. Additionally, visiting the dentist regularly can help catch any early signs of oral cancers or other serious conditions before they become more serious.
At Capital Esthetics & Family Dentistry, we are dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health through preventive dental care and regular visits. To learn more about the importance of preventive oral hygiene or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!