According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 26% of American adults have dental cavities that are untreated, while 40% of adults 30 and older struggle with gum disease. These staggering numbers also extend to the youth, as 13% of young adults suffer tooth decay. Unfortunately, these numbers will only rise as the local population continues to neglect their oral hygiene and disregard the health of their teeth.
When you have healthy teeth, you can consume most foods and enjoy your day without dealing with an infection, aching gums, or mouth ulcers. And once you become attentive to your oral hygiene, you’ll see a noticeable difference in your health and your smile.
So here’s what you need to know about maintaining good oral hygiene:
Become Best Friends With Your Dentist
When it comes to caring for your mouth, helping you improve the condition of your teeth, and fighting off pesky bacterial infections, a dentist is your best friend. It would help if you worked with a well-reputed dentist so that all your oral issues can get taken care of. States like North Carolina have many dentists actively operating within the region.
There are more than 3,900 dentists near you in any given area. Hence, if you hail from the quaint town of Chapel Hill, a small place in Orange County, you can easily match with a reputable dentist. Chapel Hill is a beautiful and warm community where professionals like Clifton & Mauney Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry are willing to review your case and guide you accordingly. Dentists have the tools and equipment that can explore your mouth thoroughly. They can identify the problem and give you a reasonable solution for them.
For instance, if you have crowded teeth, getting an Invisalign or braces is the best way to fix them. Likewise, if the bacteria are embedded in your gums, they can extract the pathogen before it causes further harm. Sometimes cavities, decays, and rots aren’t visible to the naked eye, but with a simple X-ray, you can see where your teeth are impacted. Generally, you need to visit your dentist after every six months unless advised otherwise.
Improve Your Diet
What you eat can impact your teeth, inadvertently affecting your oral hygiene. Chewed-up food interacts with your saliva, resulting in substances that can cling to your teeth. Eventually, a sticky film of bacteria forms on your teeth and can attack your tooth enamel. The more the plaque lingers on your teeth, the more it hardens, leading to hard calcified deposits called tartar. This buildup pushes on your teeth, causes your gums to recede, and even causes bad breath. The easy way to tackle this situation is to have a better diet.
Make sure you avoid meals that are heavy in sugars and starch. Sugar converts into acid, which can erode your teeth’s enamel and cause cavities. So, limit the number of acidic fruits like grapefruits, beverages like tea, and desserts like cakes and ice cream. Instead, increase your uptake of crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, bell peppers, and broccoli.
Additionally, crunchy vegetables contain water and act as natural teeth cleaners as they stimulate the flow of saliva, which washes away lingering food particles.
Furthermore, dairy products like cheese are another must-have for your oral health. Cheese like Monterey Jack, cheddar, Brie, and Camembert are packed with calcium and casein, a protein known for fortifying enamel. Cheese also balances your mouth’s pH as it has phosphate, neutralizing acidity. Like crunchy vegetables, cheese stimulates saliva flow, naturally cleaning up your teeth.
Make Brushing and Flossing a Routine
Your teeth need proper scrubbing twice daily; therefore, get diligent about brushing them. Ensure you invest in a good toothbrush with firm bristles so it doesn’t disintegrate after a few uses. While brushing, you need to brush for at least two minutes in a soft circular motion, concentrating on your molars in the back. Get electric toothbrushes if you are willing to go the extra mile for your oral health. These tools have the edge over regular brushes and come with unique attachments like interproximal brushes, which can reach hard places like between your teeth and around your braces.
At the same time, add flossing to your cleaning regime. Flossing allows you to dislodge food particles stuck in the crevices of your gum and teeth, which your brush can miss. But, if your gums are sensitive and regular flossing hurts them, you may look into water flossing, a dental pick, or pre-threaded floss.
Part of owning a toothbrush involves caring for its maintenance and storage. You should strive to replace your brush after every three to six months. If you notice cracks, worn bristles, or damages, remove them immediately. When you’re done using your toothbrush, rinse it thoroughly and store it in a dry place to prevent bacteria from accumulating on top.
Invest In A Mouthwash
Mouthwashes contain numerous antibacterial ingredients like chlorhexidine which prevents plaque and gingivitis. Likewise, regular mouthwash can reduce bad breath and eliminate most odor-causing bacteria. But, if you’re looking for a long-term remedy to eliminate halitosis, you cannot rely on mouthwash alone and will need to see your dentist. Additionally, various types of mouthwashes perform different functions. For instance, a fluoride rinse is best for those fighting tooth decay and gum diseases. On the other hand, you can get a prescription rinse to ward off an infection or opt for an antibacterial one to stave off plaque buildup.
If you check out this dentist in Stockton, they will also advise you to pick an alcohol-free mouthwash whenever possible. This is because mouthwashes with alcohol dry the mouth, which in turn can lead to dental and oral issues.
Oral hygiene is necessary for your health and overall well-being. If your teeth and oral orifice are in good condition, you’ll feel healthy and have no trouble showing off your teeth. However, if you’re negligent about your oral health, it will severely impact your teeth and expose you to all sorts of diseases and illnesses that are hard to remedy.
So, while it may be a hassle, get into the habit of looking after your oral health. Start small, such as working on your diet, brushing your teeth regularly, and introducing fluoride into your lifestyle. From there, try and become frequent with dental appointments and follow all the advice your practitioner provides you to the T.