You constantly hear about how important it is to be brushing and flossing your teeth every day, and that you should go to the dentist every six months for cleanings and exams. Despite hearing this advice, many people are still lax in their oral care habits, and even skip out on their biannual visits. It is often believed that if nothing feels wrong, then everything is fine. This assumption is completely false. Neglecting your oral care can have serious consequences on the health of your mouth, your overall health, your smile, and your quality of life. Raptou Family Dental is here to help you optimize your oral health with proper oral and dental hygiene.
Why Is Oral Hygiene So Important?
There are some different reasons why oral hygiene is so important. It helps to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Your teeth perform several essential tasks every day, including biting, chewing, and controlling airflow when you speak. Your teeth also play a crucial role in the strength and integrity of your jawbone. Good oral hygiene helps to keep your gums healthy. Your gums play an important role in protecting the roots of your teeth. By forming a tight seal around your teeth, they prevent bacteria and debris from getting below the gum line. Poor oral hygiene can lead to serious issues, including tooth decay, gum disease, infections in the teeth, and even tooth loss. These issues can significantly impact the most basic functions of your mouth, making it difficult to eat (which can ultimately affect your nutrition by making it harder for your body to absorb nutrients) and speak. Your jawbone can become weak and resorb, changing shape. This can throw off your bite as well as alter the shape of your face (making you appear older). These issues can affect your smile and your confidence. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream, which can lead to health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
Other problems that poor oral hygiene practices can cause include:
Oral Hygiene at Home
Good oral hygiene starts in the home. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you brush at least twice a day and floss at least once per day. When brushing, a soft bristled brush should be held at a 45-degree angle. You should use small, circular motions with gentle pressure. Brushing too hard, or using a hard-bristled brush can irritate your sensitive gum tissue (which can contribute to an increased risk for gum disease as well as gum recession) and wear away the enamel of your teeth. Every time you brush, it should be done for two minutes, during which time you should brush all surfaces of your teeth. When you floss, an 18-inch long strand should be wrapped around your middle fingers, with two inches left between them. Move the floss gently back and forth to fit it between the teeth and gently scrape up and down the sides of each tooth. Care should be taken not to snap the floss against your gums.
Tools to consider having in your oral hygiene arsenal include:
Professional Oral Care
Your home care routine is only a part of maintaining good oral hygiene. Professional care is also essential. It is recommended that you have professional cleanings and exams at least twice a year (once every six months). During these visits, we thoroughly clean your teeth, scraping off all plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), bacteria, and other debris from the surfaces of your teeth, including between the teeth and around the gum line. We can reach areas that you may have a more difficult time keeping clean. During your exams, we closely inspect the condition of your teeth and gums, checking for signs of damage, decay, and infections. It is possible for issues in their earliest stages to show no symptoms whatsoever. By finding issues early, we can take action to prevent them from worsening. In doing so, we help you to prevent the need for more invasive treatments later.
If you have any questions about your oral hygiene routine or any concerns about the health and condition of your mouth, contact Raptou Family Dental today at (614) 427-0449.