Good oral health is the key to preventing oral and dental health conditions such as cavities and gingivitis. Oral health also plays an important role in overall health, and in reducing the occurrence and severity of numerous inflammatory conditions. Unfortunately, most people don’t take as good care of their oral health as they know they should. The good news is that learning how to take better care of your oral health and putting those tips into action is easy. The 3 most important way to prevent oral and dental health conditions is: brushing your teeth twice a day, brushing your tongue, and flossing your teeth every 24 hours.
August 6 is National Fresh Breath Day
How to practice good oral health
- The most important component of maintaining good oral health is brushing your teeth and doing it right. You should be brushing twice a day at the minimum, but brushing after every meal is ideal. If you can’t, then you should try to at least give your mouth a rinse with some water after eating. You should brush for a full two minutes at a time using a soft-bristled toothbrush, as harder bristles can damage tooth enamel. Brush firmly, but not so hard that you are irritating your gums.
- Giving your tongue a brushing before or after you brush your teeth is also a good idea, as a lot of plaque bacteria tends to settle on the tongue. You can simply use your soft-bristles toothbrush, or you can invest in a specifically designed tongue brush or tongue scraper.
- On top of brushing your teeth, it is also crucial to floss them. Flossing can be a tedious process at first, but once you get into the habit of it, you’ll find it much easier to do. You should floss at least once in a 24 hours period, as it only takes 24 hours for plaque to harden into a much sticker substance known as tartar. Flossing can remove plaque from those hard-to-reach places between the teeth where your toothbrush bristles can’t quite get.
Your teeth are what you eat
What you eat has a significant impact on your oral health as well. The reason why dentists recommend limiting your intake of sugar is that sugar is a food source for plaque bacteria, which produce acid as a by-product. This acid can wear away at your tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
Acidic foods and drinks can likewise damage tooth enamel
So you should also try to limit your intake of:
- fruit juices
- citrus fruits
- soda pop
See Your Dentist on a Regular Basis
Finally, it really is important to see your dentist on a regular basis in order to maintain good oral health, even if you don’t have any tooth pain or obvious oral health issues. Tooth decay and gum disease don’t always have obvious signs and symptoms in their early stages but will be detected by a dentist if you go for regular checkups. Plus, tartar can only be properly removed with a professional cleaning.
Taking care of your oral health is important. Yes, there are many tooth replacement options available nowadays if your teeth need to be extracted, but keeping your natural teeth as healthy as you can, for as long as you can, is still the best way to go.