Everyone wants a beautiful, gleaming smile, but many people aren’t aware of the importance of a great dental hygiene routine to their overall health and wellness. Research consistently links poor dental health with the risk of developing serious conditions such as heart attack and stroke.
There are lots of ways, however, to optimize your dental hygiene routine to protect both your smile and your health. Your dentist can give you plenty of tips and practical advice to go about doing this, and you can also use the guide below to start incorporating some new habits today, which could make a big difference.
As well as covering ways to make your teeth cleaning more effective, we’ll also look at the impact that crooked or overcrowded teeth can have on your dental health; for those concerned about having fixed braces to resolve these problems, click here to read more about Strayt. This company offers at-home digital scanning, flexible payment plans, and clear braces, so you could be enjoying a straighter smile quicker than you ever thought possible.
Healthy Teeth and Gums
Most obviously, maintaining great dental hygiene habits is the best way to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Properly brushing will help get rid of plaque and bacteria that could otherwise build up and cause cavities, gum disease, and other issues. It’ll also help keep the breath fresh.
Brush with a manual or electric toothbrush twice a day, for about two minutes each time. You could also talk to your dentist about incorporating interdental brushes, floss, or mouthwash into your routine to further guard against plaque and better remove food debris from between the teeth. It’s important to replace your toothbrush (or the head of an electric brush) regularly to ensure its effectiveness and prevent it from becoming a repository for bacteria.
Straighter Teeth for a Healthier Smile
If you have crooked or overcrowded teeth or other misalignment issues, then this may well make it more difficult for you to properly clean both the affected and surrounding teeth. This can lead to problems that may ultimately result in the need for an extraction.
Speak with your dentist about this issue and the possibility of having braces or aligners fitted to move your teeth into new positions. As well as the confidence that comes from getting a stellar smile, you’ll also be better able to properly clean your teeth to keep your new beam healthy and bright.
Prevention of Serious Disease
Infections that begin in the mouth – often as a result of poor dental hygiene – can get into the bloodstream and cause serious problems elsewhere in the body. Studies have linked infections starting in the mouth to conditions including:
- Coronary artery disease
- Low birth weight
- Premature babies
- Respiratory problems
Certain cancers have also been linked to poor dental health.
Visiting your dentist regularly, as well as optimizing your dental hygiene routine and ensuring you’re eating a good diet that’s low in refined sugars, is an important way of avoiding the types of teeth and gum issues that could lead to an infection.
The process of digestion begins in the mouth, so it’s no surprise that those with unhealthy teeth and gums are much more likely to experience digestive issues, too.
The gut plays a crucial role in controlling the immune system, and when this system is activated or inflamed, the first signs of this can appear in the mouth. Bleeding gums can be an early sign of a digestive issue. The early stages of Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis can also exhibit in oral signs.
Flat, red patches on the inside of the cheeks and the gums can indicate a B12 deficiency which, in turn, may be linked to other conditions. Going along for regular dental check-ups allows your dentist to look for the signs of any problems that can manifest via issues in the mouth – catching such diseases or conditions early means more prompt treatment.
Hints to Uplevel Your Dental Hygiene Routine
As well as adequate brushing, using additional things such as floss and mouthwash, and eating a healthy diet, there are plenty of other tips and tricks to keep your teeth and mouth healthy and happy:
Eat Bacteria-Busting Foods
Eating certain foods actually serves to prevent bacteria from building up in the mouth. Nibble on crunchy fruit and veg, such as carrots, celery, and apples; they raise saliva levels which helps to wash away any bacteria present.
Try a Tongue Scraper
Bacteria that builds up on the surface of the tongue can cause bad breath and also contribute to the formation of plaque and the wearing away of tooth enamel. Use a tongue scraper every day to remove this bacteria for a fresher, healthier smile.
When your mouth is dry, there’s less saliva, which plays a vital role in flushing away bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and other problems. Avoid this by simply staying hydrated – aim to drink around two liters of fluid a day, and more when the weather is warm, or you’re exercising.
Cut Out Tooth Grinding
Finally, many of us grind our teeth, often at night, when we’re unlikely to even be aware of it. Tooth grinding, however, can wear down the tooth enamel and subsequently increase the risk of tooth decay. If you think (or have been told!) you grind your teeth, speak to your dentist. A removable mouthguard can be used to prevent night-time grinding and protect the surfaces of your teeth.