Oral health is a major contributor to overall health. Poor oral hygiene has been associated with numerous systemic diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Practicing healthy oral hygiene habits, such as regular flossing, brushing, and dental appointments may decrease your chances of suffering from long-term health problems.
Some symptoms of Oral Disease:
- halitosis (bad breath)
- bleeding gums
- gum recession
- tooth mobility
Tips to Promote Healthy Gums
Brush at least twice a day
It is recommended that you brush your teeth after every meal or snack to remove leftover food debris. However, this may present a challenge since we may not get an opportunity to sneak off to the bathroom after every time we eat, so most dentists suggest morning and night brushing as a bare minimum. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush, as hard or coarse bristles may damage fragile gum tissue. Make sure to replace your toothbrush or electric brush heads every three months or when the bristles begin to fray or discolor.
Related: How often should you change your toothbrush?
Floss at least once a day
Flossing helps to prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and bone loss. Flossing allows you to remove food debris or plaque that gets trapped between your teeth, an area that is difficult to clean properly with a toothbrush (manual or electric). Dispense a suitable amount of floss (usually 12-18 inches is easiest to handle), grip between your thumb and forefingers, and gently curve the floss against each adjacent tooth surface. You should form a “C” shape along the surface of the tooth and slightly under the gums, which may harbor bacteria. Try to avoid forcefully snapping the floss down between the teeth and into the gums, which may cause more damage.
Limit your consumption of sugar
Your mouth houses both good and bad bacteria. However, studies show that the “bad” bacteria produce acids as they consume sugar. The acids that these bacteria produce weaken the surrounding tooth structure, eventually leading to tooth decay, or cavities.
Keep your oral hygiene equipment clean
After brushing your teeth, rinse your toothbrush with water and store it in an upright position to allow it to dry between uses. Make sure to separate your toothbrushes from others to eliminate cross-contamination.
In order to ensure that your oral hygiene is in good order, make sure to visit a dentist regularly for cleanings and exams, as well as x-rays. Upper Fort Dental provides comprehensive oral care for all of their patients and aims to not only give you the smile of your dreams but also to educate you on how to maintain your oral health.