The Pitfalls of Poor Oral Hygiene
Maintaining proper oral hygiene techniques at home can mean the difference between a healthy, happy smile and a discolored, embarrassing one. So what can you do if you’re not happy with your smile? The answer is simple: visit your dentist regularly. Then, while you’re there, ask the right questions. Ask them what kind of toothbrush you should use, how to floss properly and whether or not you should be using any special appliances or tools. You can search all over the internet for proper oral hygiene techniques, but in reality, your dentist knows your history and can recommend the best products and behaviors to help maintain a healthy smile.
After your appointment, you need to apply those techniques to your everyday brushing routine. Here’s an idea of how you can improve your oral hygiene at home:
- Brush twice a day – Brushing is great for your teeth and gums. It is recommended that you brush after every meal and right before you go to bed.
- Floss once a day – Making sure to floss before you go to bed is one of the best ways to maintain healthy gums.
- Preventative care – Patients are recommended to visit their dentist at least twice a year. Preventative treatments allow your doctor to monitor and treat any possible problems.
- Stay clean – Clean your toothbrush regularly and understand when to replace an overused toothbrush.
Plaque is a sticky combination of bacteria and food that begins to accumulate on your teeth within 20 minutes of your last meal. If you do not clean your teeth well enough, plaque will build up and eventually develop into tartar. Untreated tartar buildup can lead to serious periodontal issues. These conditions include:
- Cavities – Small holes that damage the structure of your teeth and often cause pain after eating sweet, hot or cold foods and drinks.
- Gingivitis – Swollen, inflamed and bleeding gums. This is treatable through various professional cleaning procedures.
- Periodontal Disease (gum disease) – If gingivitis goes untreated, it can lead to gum disease. This condition causes the destruction of the bone and ligaments that support the teeth, often leading to tooth loss.
- Halitosis (bad breath) - Bad breath that is most commonly related to poor oral hygiene and is caused by the release of sulphur compounds by bacteria in the mouth.