It is critical that you take the best possible care of your gums and teeth.
It is difficult to overstate how important oral health is to your overall health and general feeling of wellbeing.
The mouth serves as the gateway to the body, which means that bacteria from your mouth can reach other parts of your body and put you at risk for other dangerous conditions and diseases.
Inflammation of the mouth is associated with a variety of general diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
This is why oral hygiene is so important.
Oral hygiene is comprised of all the things we do to keep our mouths clean and free of disease and other issues (e.g. bad breath). This includes regular brushing and cleaning between the teeth with floss or other tools.
Oral hygiene must be maintained on a regular basis to ensure dental disease cannot take hold, and lead to decay (cavities, dental caries), and gum diseases including gingivitis and periodontitis.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems that poor oral hygiene can cause:
- Plaque is a substance that develops and sticks to teeth when food is mixed with bacteria and saliva. Good oral hygiene helps to kill bacteria, and loosens and removes plaque.
- Gum disease is an infection or inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. Unhealthy gums have buildups of plaque that can cause an inflammation called gingivitis, which can then lead to the even more damaging periodontitis. Keeping plaque from taking a hold on your teeth helps guard against gum disease as well as cavities.
- Tooth decay occurs when small holes, or cavities, form in the tooth. Plaque is the main cause of tooth decay, particularly when sugar meets the bacteria in your mouth. Keeping the teeth clear of plaque prevents the occurrence of tooth decay.
- Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. It is caused by the unhealthy build up of plaque and the inflammation or infection of the gums. Keeping the gums and teeth clean will help to alleviate this condition.
How can I get rid of plaque?
The best way to remove plaque is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day. Brushing removes plaque from the tooth surfaces. Brush your teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your toothbrush should fit your mouth and allow you to reach all areas easily.
Use an antimicrobial toothpaste containing fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay. Clean between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners to remove plaque from between the teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing is essential to prevent gum disease.
Is there anything else I can use to clean my mouth?
A mouth rinse, in addition to daily brushing and flossing, can increase the cleanliness of your mouth. Antimicrobial mouth rinses reduce bacteria and plaque activity, which cause gingivitis and gum disease.
Fluoride mouth rinses also help reduce and prevent tooth decay. Be sure to discuss any new products you are interested in trying with your dentist. Not everyone should use a fluoride mouth rinse, for instance. Fluoride rinses are not recommended for children ages 6 or younger because they may swallow them.
Good Oral Hygiene Habits Should Start Early
It’s never too early to start focusing on the importance of brushing teeth for kids. While some parents don’t make it a priority at an early age because kids’ first teeth are temporary, the earlier you can teach your kids how to brush their teeth, the sooner it will become a long-term habit.
Make Simple Changes Today For A Healthier Mouth In The Future
When it comes to healthy aging, a preventive approach is the key to success. Neglecting your oral health as you age can have destructive consequences, including a prematurely aged smile (gum recession and/or tooth discoloration) and the need for extensive and expensive corrective procedures.
The good news is that if you follow the simple preventive habits listed above earlier in life, it can help avoid these consequences. Regardless of your age, see your dentist and hygienist twice each year and make time for a complete oral health care routine every day so that your smile is healthy well into your golden years.
Dentistry at Castlemaine Smiles
Castlemaine Smiles occupies the spacious first floor above the Amcal chemist in the historic country town of Castlemaine, Victoria. The practice is a short walk from Castlemaine Station and free all day parking is available towards the top end of Lyttleton Street.
We have a stair lift to aid people with limited mobility (weight limit 120Kg). If you would like to take advantage of the lift, please contact us ahead of time so that we can have it ready for your arrival.
Find out at Castlemaine Smiles!
Same Day Emergency Appointment Usually Available!