It is vital that good oral hygiene becomes part of a person’s daily routine. This routine should include regular tooth brushing and flossing. When performed correctly at least twice a day, brushing and flossing prevent plaque build up on the teeth. A clean mouth reduces the potential for problems such as gum disease, tooth sensitivity, tooth erosion, cavities, and bad breath.
To prevent gum disease you want to perform regular brushing and flossing plus dental cleanings by a hygienist is recommended. Gum or periodontal, infection occurs when bacteria buildup on the teeth causes the tissue surrounding the teeth to deteriorate. The process starts with plaque deposits that can eventually turn into calculus. Good oral hygiene removes plaque and prevents gum disease from occurring.
Teeth become sensitive when the outer tooth enamel becomes thin or when the gum recedes and exposes the tooth root. Tooth enamel thinning occurs when a hard-bristled toothbrush or toothpaste that is highly abrasive is applied with overly vigorous brush strokes. The root’s of the teeth become exposed as gum disease advances. This condition can be prevented by using the right toothpaste, toothbrush, and brushing techniques as well as regular flossing.
Tooth erosion occurs when acids that do not come from bacteria attack the teeth and cause portions of the enamel to disappear. Any time that teeth is exposed to acids, the enamel softens, but saliva gradually corrects the problem over time. When the acid attacks occur too frequently, problems set in that cannot be readily fixed. To prevent this problem, wait at least an hour after eating or drinking acidic foods before brushing and continue with a reliable daily program of good oral hygiene.
We’ve already talked about plaque, but it’s time to learn what it is made of. Plaque happens when food particles, bacteria, acid, and saliva all combine and are deposited on the teeth. It is the acid in the plaque that starts eating through the enamel and increases the likelihood that a cavity will form. As stated above, regular brushing and flossing removes plaque and prevents the formation of cavities.
Bad breath, or halitosis, occurs for a variety of reasons including the types of food eaten, an underlying health problem, an infection within the mouth, and poor oral hygiene. One of the simplest ways to prevent this problem is to be vigilant about cleaning your mouth. Be sure to floss regularly and to use extra care while brushing the teeth as well as the tongue. In many cases, a change for the better in the area of proper hygiene is enough to eliminate the problem of bad breath.
It is impossible to overstate the benefits of a good program of oral hygiene. Regular tooth brushing and flossing at home should be combined with visits to your dentist to have your teeth professionally cleaned. Your teeth might last you a lifetime if you take good care of them.