Those pearly whites make for the best accessory. It suits every occasion, it goes with any fashion, and it never goes out of style. Thus, there’s always a need to highlight the importance of oral hygiene.
But how do you get your teeth in tiptop condition? Aside from basic oral hygiene, here are some of the often-overlooked practices that can give you a picture-perfect smile.
Don’t Neglect Your Tongue
Remember to brush your tongue each time you brush your teeth. Although your tongue doesn’t develop oral cavities as teeth do, it is as much of a den for disease-causing bacteria as your teeth. Some people who suffer from bad breath will only have to make the simple habit of brushing their tongue for the problem to go away.
The tongue doesn’t have a smooth surface; it has crevices and elevations where bacteria can proliferate, resulting in the formation of a biofilm—the white film-like layer that sticks to the tongue’s surface. This biofilm is nothing more than accumulated microorganisms on your tongue. That’s why rinsing with mouthwash is not enough to remove these harmful microbes in your mouth; you have to regularly brush them off for you to get rid of them.
Eat Fresh and Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables
Modern diets primarily consist of ready-to-eat and mushy meals. While it’s convenient and suitable for an always-on-the-go lifestyle, it’s taking a toll not just on your health but also on your teeth. Processed mushy food easily gets stuck between your teeth, and they make a good breeding ground for bacteria.
Instead of processed food, why not eat fresh and crunchy fruits and vegetables? Your body—and especially your teeth—will thank you for it! With their abrasive texture, crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots make for an excellent natural toothbrush. This type of food can dislodge food bits stuck between your teeth and prevent plaque buildup.
Use the Right Kind of Toothbrush
Toothbrushes come in soft, medium, or hard bristle strength. For most people, toothbrushes with soft bristles are the best choice. Toothbrushes with medium and hard bristle strength might damage your gums, root surface, as enamel—the protective covering of your teeth. This is especially true if you brush your teeth vigorously.
Soft-bristled toothbrushes are gentler on your teeth and gums while removing plaques and food stuck between your teeth. They’re also more flexible, so they can thoroughly clean the gum line and hard-to-reach areas in your oral cavity. And if you have sensitive teeth and suffer from enamel erosion, it’s best to go for a toothbrush with extra soft bristles.
Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly
Your toothbrush is an indispensable tool in maintaining oral hygiene. However, there comes a time when the toothbrush does more harm than good for your teeth, in which case, you need to replace it. Toothbrushes and brush heads of electric toothbrushes have to be replaced every three months.
Due to constant use, bristles get worn out after a couple of months, and they can cause periodontal disease. Also, worn-out bristles are no longer effective in removing plaques and cleaning teeth and tongue surfaces. Those bristles might even become a good breeding ground for fungi and bacteria, which can cause bad breath or halitosis.
Not Having Regular Dental Visits
Regular dental visits (at least every 3-12 months) are necessary to maintain oral health. Your dental appointment will usually consist of two parts—routine check-ups and cleaning. During the check-up, your dental professional will check your teeth and gums for signs of cavities, gum problems, as well as plaque and tartar buildup. Your dentist will also check your mouth, cheeks, tongue, throat, and face to make sure there are no signs of disease.
After the check-up, the dental professional will proceed with a professional clean which removes tartar and plaque buildup. While regular oral hygiene like brushing and flossing can help manage plaque buildup, it takes a visit to the dentist to remove tartar. The dental professional will have to use a scaler to remove tartar deposits between teeth and those under the gums.
After scaling, the dental professional may polish your teeth using a gritty paste to remove stains on the surface of your pearly whites. And lastly, flossing might be needed to make sure the areas in between your teeth are clean.
If you’re not fond of sitting in that dental chair, remember that regular dental visits:
- prevents tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath
- removes stains caused by smoking or drinking tea, coffee, and wine
- provides early detection and treatment of diseases like oral cancer
- lowers the risk of illnesses like cardiovascular disease and pneumonia
Healthy Smile, Healthy Body
They say oral health is a window to your general health—and it’s true. Your mouth is the entryway to the different organs comprising your respiratory and digestive systems. Thus, it also serves as a frontline to ward off harmful microbes that invade your body. If microbial growth goes out of control in your mouth due to poor oral hygiene, other major organs like your heart and lungs may also take a beating. That’s why the importance of oral hygiene can never be overstated.
These few simple practices may seem inconvenient and may cost some money, but it sure beats dealing with preventable health problems. Think of the extra time and money you spent on good oral hygiene as an investment toward your overall health.
Ready to make better choices for your oral health? Book an appointment with Boon Dental today. Our clinic offers comprehensive dental services to cater to you and your family’s dental needs.