Oral or dental health is essential to your overall well-being; poor oral health causes more than cavities and gum disease. There is an association between your Riverdale dental health and your overall health. For instance, poor oral hygiene is linked to severe health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For this reason, it is essential to adhere to proper oral hygiene practices to maintain the health of your gums and teeth. The earlier you practice oral hygiene habits, the easier it is to avoid long-term health issues and costly dental procedures. Below are practices to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Brush using the proper technique
Most people know that brushing twice a day is a rule of thumb for healthy teeth and gums, but it may only be effective when you use the proper technique. When brushing your teeth, use small, circular motions and pay attention to every tooth’s front, back, and top. Avoid aggressive back and forth movements since that can damage your gums and tooth enamel. Also, ensure your toothbrush has soft bristles to prevent gum erosion and damage to the protective enamel of the teeth. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush can cause tooth sensitivity. Specialists recommend changing your toothbrush every three months or whenever the bristles look frayed.
Floss once every day
Flossing allows you to get rid of plaque and bacteria in teeth crevices that a toothbrush cannot reach. Removing debris and food trapped between your teeth can also help prevent bad breath. While flossing, ensure you pull the floss down to the gum line before hugging the sides with up and down movements. Snapping the floss up and down between the teeth can cause pain and may not remove plaque effectively.
Use a mouthwash
Mouthwashes with antibacterial agents can help control plaque and gingivitis; others with essential oils can benefit your oral health. There are different mouthwashes, so your dentist may help you determine the best one for your individual needs. Although mouthwash may help, it should not substitute for brushing and flossing, but it can complement these practices.
See your oral health professional regularly
Besides brushing and flossing your teeth, routine dental check-ups are essential for the health of your teeth and gums. Specialists recommend visiting the dentists at least every six months to prevent and treat any oral health problems. During a routine dental visit, your dentist will clean your teeth to remove plaque and any hardened tartar. Using dental x-rays, your oral health professional will examine your teeth for cavities and other oral health issues. Depending on age, health history, and overall dental health, some people need more or fewer visits. Therefore, you should check in with your dentist about how often you need a check-up.
Do not smoke
Smoking harms your body’s immune system, making it hard for the body to heal tissues, including those in your mouth. For example, after dental extraction, people who smoke are at risk of surgical wound complications due to slow healing. Further, smoking can discolor your teeth and cause bad breath. Besides preventing oral health problems, quitting smoking reduces your risk of severe health problems like lung cancer.
Book an appointment with your dentist at Riverdale Dental Arts for a routine dental check-up to maintain the health of your teeth and gums.