When it comes to oral hygiene, many people believe that brushing their teeth once a day, usually in the morning, is sufficient. This is far from the truth and research has shown that maintaining good oral hygiene can dramatically improve your way of life. Poor oral hygiene leads to bad breath, broken teeth, infections, missing teeth and more, which directly affects the way we lead our lives and function, not to mention what and how we eat. What makes matters worse is that new research indicates that poor oral hygiene is directly related to heart disease, diabetes, strokes and even low-weight babies at childbirth and pre-term labor, due to the bacteria in the mouth leaking into the bloodstream. Below are 3 simple steps that you can follow to ensure good oral health for you and your family.
Step 1 – Visit your Dentist Regularly – He/She Misses You
Only a trained professional can help you spot the wrong you are doing to your teeth and gums. Regular check-ups with your dentist will help you treat the current problems you have in your mouth, as well as prevent problems that may arise in the future. Your trained professional will look for signs of oral disease, dental cavities and more. It is also said that some cancerous lesions start in the mouth, so making the time for regular trips to your dentist may just save your life.
Step 2 – Follow a Strict Oral Hygiene Regime on a Daily Basis
If you are not using fluoride based toothpaste, you need to get some right away. Fluoride toothpaste is the only dental hygiene product that properly removes bacteria and plaque that causes gum disease (periodontal disease), dental cavities, and proximal caries. You need to make sure that you brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day – more if possible.
Flossing is also a major part of good oral health. Many people forget to floss, or just don’t bother doing it. Flossing at least once a day will dramatically increase your oral health. Without flossing you are only cleaning about 2 thirds of the surface of your teeth, leaving the bacteria and plaque to wreak havoc on the rest of your teeth and gums. Make flossing a ritual before you brush your teeth in the morning.
Step 3 – Eat Well for Good Strong Teeth and Gums
Eating healthily is not only good for your general well-being; it is also good for your oral health. Many nutrients that your body receives from healthy food are used to ward of cavities in your mouth and keep your gums healthy. Doctors also recommend that you stay away from too much candy and sticky sweets, and cut down on the amount of sugar in your diet if you want to maintain a healthy mouth. Another thing to remember is the 5-a-day rule for fruits and veggies, as these stimulate the salivary flow which aids in the re-mineralization of decaying teeth.
If you are looking to maintain your oral health, doctors also recommend that you do not touch tobacco products and cut down on your alcohol consumption. The use of these products individually may lead to some mouth cancers, and if used in combination will have an even greater effect on, not only your oral hygiene, but your general well-being as well.