Optimize Your Oral Hygiene Routine
If you're not brushing and flossing every day, you're greatly increasing your risk of cavities, tooth loss, and periodontal disease. But even if you have a regular oral hygiene regimen, here are some ideas on how you may be able to improve it:
- Floss just before going to bed because that is the prime time for bacterial growth and plaque formation. Floss before brushing so as to loosen up food trapped between teeth in preparation for being swiped away by your toothbrush and washed away by a mouth rinse.
- Use a soft-bristled brush so you can lightly brush over your gum line without hurting your gums. And always brush your tongue because it is a veritable incubation center for all manner of mouth bacteria.
- If possible, brush after each meal; but after breakfast and just before bed are the two most important times.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash before bed and whenever your brush/floss. It will reduce mouth acid that can prey on your tooth enamel, remineralize your teeth, flush out food particles and plaque, and kill off mouth bacteria.
Your diet can do as much to help or hurt your oral health as can your daily oral hygiene habits.
The number one way to reduce your risks for gum disease, tooth decay, and halitosis (chronic bad breath) is to simply drink a lot more water. Drink a glass after every meal, after waking up in the morning, and just before retiring for the night. This washes away plaque-causing "debris" and enamel-eating acids that may be lingering in your mouth.
Second, be sure to avoid excessive amounts of sugary and acidic foods and beverages. This includes coffee, tea, soft drinks, candy, pastries, and high-acid fruits like pineapple.
Third, eat a lot of crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, celery sticks, apples, pears, and lettuce. High nutrient content and the natural scraping action of chewing these foods will combine to boost your oral hygiene and health.
Keeping An Eye On Your Oral Health
No matter how diligent you are to brush and floss regularly and consume healthy foods, plaque and tartar will inevitably build up and a dental or periodontal problem may eventually arise.
That's why the American Dental Association recommends at least two oral check ups per year, and at least one visit should be made to a periodontist to protect your gum health and not just your tooth health.
Only a dental professional can spot negative developments early and help your avert any serious oral health problems down the road.
To learn more about how to protect the long term health of your teeth, gums, and whole mouth, or to schedule a periodontal check up, feel free to contact periodontist Dr. Raymond A. Kenzik in Volusia or Flagler County, FL, today!