Proper oral health is the key
Oral health isn’t just about whiter teeth, it is an essential component of health throughout life. Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases and conditions can have a significant impact on quality of life. They can affect the most basic human needs, including the ability to eat and drink, swallow, maintain proper nutrition, smile, and communicate.
What is oral hygiene?
Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent dental problems and bad breath. The main purpose of oral hygiene is to prevent the build-up of plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Bacterial plaque accumulated on teeth because of poor oral hygiene is the causative factor of the major dental problems.
Poor oral hygiene allows the accumulation of acid producing bacteria on the surface of the teeth. The acid demineralizes the tooth enamel causing tooth decay (cavities). Dental plaque can also invade and infect the gums causing gum disease and periodontitis.
What can I do?
- Visit your dentist twice a year for your bi-annual checkup and teeth cleaning.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
- Floss at least once per day!
- Use a tongue cleaner. A tongue cleaner is an oral hygiene device designed to clean the bacterial build-up, food debris, and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. The bacteria and fungi that grow on the tongue are related to many common oral care and general health problems. Cleaning your tongue also aids in preventing bad breath.
- Limit foods that contain high levels of sugar and/or are highly acidic. Both types of food promote tooth decay.
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. Tobacco use is a major cause of tooth loss through gum disease and may lead to serious problems like oral cancer.