It’s no secret that good hygiene is the key to a lifetime of good dental health. However, despite a lifetime’s worth of experience, many of us don’t do as good of a job at keeping our smile’s healthy as we should. Today, we examine a few of the commonly overlooked tenants of a good hygiene routine, and how you can improve your routine to reduce your risks of experiencing dental health issues.
Brush twice, floss once: the golden rule of dental health. And yet it seems every annual cleaning finds you renewing your promise to be a better, more consistent flosser. Perhaps if you knew why flossing was so crucial to the health of your teeth and gums, you might find the motivation to keep follow through with your good intentions.
Why is flossing crucial to healthy teeth and gums?
Flossing does something brushing can’t do alone, which is reach the surfaces between teeth, at the gum line and behind hard-to-reach molars. The reason you want to you clean these areas is because left-over plaque (gooey bacteria) builds up and creates a opportunity for infection to occur. Flossing also stimulates the gums, which have many tiny blood vessels that carry nutrients to the tooth root. Massaging the gums by brushing and flossing increases circulation, resulting in strong teeth.
Is flossing my only option?
If flossing is not easy for you, due to arthritis or braces, Dr. James Fondriest offers a solution. Inter-dental stimulators are stick-like tools with a brush on one end. They work for targeting specific areas that a wider angled tooth brush cannot clean properly. For even more effectiveness, try dipping the end in an oral anti-bacterial cleanser like Gly-Oxide. Inter-Dental Stimulators or brushes do not make tradition flossing irrelevant but they provide essential gum stimulation. You will still want to have your dental hygenist floss your teeth for you at your next cleaning.
Cleaning your teeth
Brushing and flossing your teeth are the cornerstones of good dental hygiene. To be effective, though, you have to do it at least twice a day, every day. The point of cleaning your teeth is to remove traces of food and harmful oral bacteria (in the form of dental plaque) from their surfaces. Plaque constantly forms, so you have to constantly remove it before it calcifies into tartar and becomes insoluble.
Watching what you eat
Harmful oral bacteria found in plaque are a threat because they convert nutrients in your food into harmful substances, like toxins and acids. For instance, if you indulge on sugar too often, then oral bacteria can convert it into massive amounts of acid that erodes your tooth enamel, making way for tooth decay. By eating healthier and reducing how often you snack, you can limit how much fuel oral bacteria have to convert into harmful substances.
Visiting your dentist regularly
Though it’s not something you do at home, visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings is vital to your good hygiene. When plaque calcifies into tartar, it can only be removed with professional help from your dentist or hygienist. Otherwise, even your best hygiene efforts at home will eventually fail.
Learn More About Improving Your Dental Hygiene
A consistent routine of excellent hygiene practices will increase your chances of preserving your healthy, natural smile. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents of Chicago and all surrounding communities in the Chicago Metro area.