How many times have you heard that you should be brushing and flossing your teeth every day, or that you should go to the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and exams? Chances are, you’ve heard these recommendations several times. Despite hearing these recommendations, many people are still lax in their oral care. They may skip out on brushing or flossing sessions, or go more than a year between dental visits. It is a common misconception that if you do not see or feel anything wrong with your mouth, everything must be okay.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many oral health issues do not present any symptoms in their early stages, making it difficult to know that they are there until they are serious. Neglecting your oral hygiene can have serious consequences on your oral health, your smile, and your quality of life. At South Main Dental, we can help you to keep your mouth healthy by helping you to practice good dental hygiene.
Why is Dental Hygiene Important?
Your teeth and gums are crucial components of your mouth. Your teeth are responsible for many basic functions like eating and speaking. They enable you to bite and chew your food (the first stage of digestion). They also control the airflow when you speak, enabling you to communicate with others. They help to keep your jawbone healthy and strong. Your teeth also provide you with a beautiful smile. Your gums provide a protective seal along your teeth, protecting their roots, as well as your periodontal ligaments and jawbone.
They are also an important component of your smile. Without proper dental hygiene, all of these functions of your teeth and gums are at risk. You may be faced with tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. These issues can lead to tooth loss, which affects your abilities to eat and speak, the health of your jawbone, your smile, and your confidence. Cavities, gum disease, and other infections can also lead to bacteria in your bloodstream. You may be faced with serious health issues like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, digestive issues, and more. Caring for your mouth daily at home, along with professional care, can help to optimize your dental hygiene, helping you to prevent these issues from occurring.
Taking Care of Your Mouth at Home
Dental hygiene starts at home. It is important to take care of your mouth every day. The ADA recommends that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. When you brush, you should do so for at least 2 minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled brush. Hold it at a 45-degree angle and use gentle, circular strokes. Brushing too hard can lead to the wearing away of your enamel as well as gum recession. It is important that you brush all surfaces of your teeth, including the fronts, backs, and tops.
Flossing should be done at least once a day. Start with 18 inches of floss. Wind it around your middle fingers until you are left with a 2-inch section. Gently move the floss back and forth to maneuver the floss between your teeth. Move the floss up and down the sides of each tooth, including behind the very back teeth. Take care not to force the floss between your teeth or snap it against your gums. Using mouthwash can also be beneficial for killing any lingering bacteria.
Dental Care in Our Office
Along with your dental hygiene routine at home, it is important that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least twice a year. During your professional cleanings, we can thoroughly scrape your teeth clean, removing any plaque, tartar, and bacterial debris from their surfaces. We can reach all areas of your teeth, including the ones that may be more difficult for you to access.
Your exams enable us to take a close look at your teeth and check for signs and symptoms of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues. We can spot even small issues that you might not even know are there. In spotting issues early, we can provide appropriate treatment, helping you to prevent the need for more invasive, and expensive, dental procedures later.
Good dental hygiene will allow you to optimize your oral health, keeping your mouth healthy and your smile beautiful. For more information about dental hygiene, or to schedule or cleaning and exam, call South Main Dental at (662) 586-2311 today.