Hygiene plays a significant role in keeping the body healthy. From a person’s toes up to their head, maintaining a routine to stay clean and healthy is very important. Oral hygiene is not only critical to the maintenance of an attractive smile but also to prevent decay and a wide range of diseases and infections that may arise as a result of neglecting to sustain proper hygiene. While every person must take care of their teeth and mouth, children are often the biggest offenders of improper oral hygiene. Taking an active role in ensuring that everyone in your family has a dental hygiene routine is essential.
With a combination of proper at-home oral care and regular visits to a dentist, the likelihood of decay and any type of oral infection is greatly reduced. When a person consumes foods that contain carbohydrates (starches and sugars) and they are left on the teeth, bacteria inside of the mouth create acids. When saliva, food, bacteria, and acids all mix, plaque forms and it sticks to the teeth. The enamel on the teeth’s surface will dissolve due to the plaque’s acids, forming holes that dentists refer to as cavities.
Cavities are certainly an issue that no one wants to deal with; however, preventing a cavity from forming is as simple as proper oral hygiene.
The American Dental Association provides specific brushing basics that are focused on maintaining a healthy mouth. Oral hygiene is something that must become routine in order to be successful. Children who are taught to care for their teeth at a young age are much less likely to suffer from cavities and a wide range of oral diseases. Both children and adults should keep the following oral hygiene tips in mind:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Do not hurry while brushing, take time to do it right (2 minutes is a good guideline)
- Use a fluoride toothpaste
- Hold the toothbrush at a bit of an angle into your gums
- Be sure to brush the back side and chewing surfaces of the teeth
- Brush your tongue
- Rinse your toothbrush after brushing and store in an upright position
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months
Brushing properly is an important aspect of oral hygiene. In addition, all patients must floss daily. Mouthwash can be another great addition to further improve oral health. Last, but most certainly not least, it is vital for every person to see a dentist at least once or twice a year. In doing so, the patient is able to get a thorough cleaning, check for any gum disease or oral infections, and make sure that their overall state of oral health is satisfactory.