Well, it is time for me to reinforce some information among some of my patients… and the general public. Good dental hygiene habits protect your teeth and gums from many oral diseases, but please always keep in mind that this “two to five” minute morning routine may help you avoid other serious health problems as well.
There are some things you can do to help:
Double check your brushing, flossing and fluoride use… assess, and make any needed changes to your cleaning routine.
Try to eat healthy… I know, these days when you factor work, family and social activities makes it even more challenging, but yes at least try. Also avoid too much sugar and tobacco derives. Trust me I’m a Dentist 🙂 All these will help you prevent:
Gum Diseases – most of the time it’s not painful… but wait until it hurts, then we have a bigger problem… and that my friend can bring additional complications than initially thought.
Tooth Decay – Well this is a no-brainer… no hygiene=tooth decay
Infections – I almost always see a patient that his/her poor oral hygiene ended up in some type of oral infection, and some of them are very serious.
Oral Cancer – Read my previous post about this increasingly dangerous illness.
Your oral health and personal oral hygiene affects your total health
It is no news that gum disease has been linked to heart disease and diabetes, and like I said this is not new… it’s been studied and linked to people with poor oral hygiene. Read this article if you would like to know more.
Professional care is basically and ad-on to your two to five minute routine because in addition to your personal oral care, a visit to your dentist will get you a full check-up of your mouth.
Brush at least twice a day
You know that you are trying to cheat here… all you do is cheat yourself. Ideally I would like you to brush ALL your teeth after each meal… I already told you that you are more than welcome to come to my office to get a new toothbrush if yours is old. If you still have that toothbrush from last year with the bristles all bent, come on… I’ll wait for you personally.
Little tip here: Tilt it 45 degree angle to your teeth, brush the outside of your teeth in circular motion… ah ah… don’t skip the gum line. Brush the back and always brush gently… don’t force or don’t do it too hard thinking that you are making up for the day before that you forgot to brush. You will damage your enamel that way.
Floss, Floss, Floss
You thought brushing is enough to get rid of all debris… nope. Get an 18 inch in length floss, wrap it around your middle fingers and away you go. Be gentle guiding the floss between your teeth with careful motions.
When you move to the next tooth… use a clean portion of the floss… and if you have difficulties flossing, don’t let that be a reason to skip flossing… there are many floss holders and techniques to accomplish this important task. If you happen to have a crown… oh my! of course you CAN’T skip flossing. Flossing your crowns are extremely important and cannot be neglected.
Visit your dentist every six months
Regular checkups are very important in preventing oral problems… you will receive a complete and very thorough cleaning and examination of all your teeth… you will be taught how to clean it and maintain it healthy.
Here is where any type of problems that you can’t see with the naked eye can be brought to your attention by the Doctor. If you don’t have dental insurance search for a low cost dental clinic… we happen to be one 🙂
And if you live far from my clinic… call your local or state department of health for information – google it my friend.
Sometimes dental school have programs for people with low income or just contact my office, and we’ll be glad to guide you where to get more information. Bottom line is that I would like to disseminate information regarding how important is your oral health to avoid potential health issues.
I will continue next week with my series of posts regarding oral hygiene and how to keep a smile at top notch. In the meantime you may contact us for more info.
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