Your oral health refers to the health and care of your mouth and teeth. Poor oral health can result in tooth decay, gum disease, halitosis, and other dental problems. However, with good oral hygiene, you can reduce these risks. This includes:
Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing and flossing are the best ways to maintain a healthy mouth and prevent dental disease. Brushing should be done at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Don’t forget to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth to remove bacteria. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
If you’re looking to maintain good oral health at home, flossing is your number one friend. Dental floss removes plaque and particles from between the teeth and along the gum line that a toothbrush simply cannot reach. Plaque is a sticky film that collects on your teeth and can cause tooth decay and gum disease.
While brushing twice a day is an important part of your cleaning routine, flossing is the only way to get rid of food particles, plaque, and bacteria between your teeth.
After you brush and floss your teeth, it’s important to rinse your mouth with water. This is because brushing and flossing can’t remove all the bacteria and plaque from your mouth, which is why you need to rinse with water. If bacteria are left behind, plaque may form on your teeth, causing tooth decay and cavities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use triggers over 30 types of cancer. It also causes gum disease and oral cancer. In addition, about 35 percent of people who smoke regularly also suffer from dry mouth. This can lead to a form of oral disease called halitosis.
Using an antibacterial mouthwash can help to further prevent cavities and gum disease. Mouthwash can also reduce plaque buildup, which inhibits your ability to eat certain types of foods due to pain or sensitivity.
Good nutrition is important for overall health, and your teeth and gums are no exception. Just like the rest of your body, your teeth and jawbone need the right nutrients to remain strong and healthy. A balanced diet provides your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to maintain healthy teeth and gums. A healthy diet should include a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
For strong teeth, eat plenty of lean meats, fish, and poultry. Chewy, fibrous fruits and vegetables like carrots, celery, and apples are great for maintaining strong gums. In addition to a healthy diet, you should limit your consumption of sugary foods and drinks to help prevent tooth decay.
At-home oral hygiene should be paired with regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist’s office. During regular cleanings, your dental hygienist will remove any plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, as well as provide thorough flossing and polishing. The checkups involve a professional dental cleaning, as well as a thorough oral exam. The dentist will examine your teeth for signs of decay and disease, as well as screen you for oral cancer.
Find out more about oral health tips by scheduling an appointment at the Rio Rancho Family Dental Care clinic. Call at (505) 891-4510 or drop in at our dental office, located at 4041 Ridge Rock Rd SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124.