Good oral hygiene is the practice of keeping your mouth clean and free of decay and disease. In order to maintain good oral hygiene, you must brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once per day, and visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.

Benefits of good oral hygiene

Good oral hygiene promotes good overall health. In fact, poor oral hygiene has been linked with health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Poor oral hygiene has also been connected to poor pregnancy and birth outcomes. Additionally, poor oral hygiene can lead to lost time from school or work.

How to maintain good oral hygiene?

Good oral hygiene consists of two main components. The first is at-home care. The second aspect of good oral hygiene is regular dental visits.

The main components of good oral hygiene include the following:

  • Brush and floss every day

Brushing should be done at least twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Forgetting to brush can leave you with a buildup of plaque, which can lead to cavities. Flossing should be done at least once a day to keep food from building up between your teeth.

  • Limit sugary foods and drinks

Sugary foods and drinks can feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay. These include candy, cookies, cake, soda, fruit juice, and dried fruit. Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes.

  • Visit your dentist regularly

Your dentist will recommend a cleaning schedule based on the health of your gums. However, you should visit your dentist at least once every six months for an oral exam and professional dental cleaning.

Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. The bacteria that cause plaque buildup can also harm your teeth and gums. The best way to prevent dental problems is by maintaining good oral hygiene.

  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash

After brushing your teeth with fluoride-based toothpaste, you can use an alcohol-free mouthwash to kill bacteria and prevent plaque. Since most mouthwash contains alcohol, which is drying, it is not recommended that you rinse your mouth with it for more than a minute or so.

  • Visit your dental hygienist regularly

Visiting your dentist every six months will help keep your teeth healthy and strong. Your hygienist can clean the teeth, check for cavities, and examine your mouth for signs of disease or decay. If problems are found, your dentist can provide restorative treatment.

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products

Smoking and using tobacco products can cause a variety of oral health problems. In fact, smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers. Tobacco products also increase plaque buildup, gum disease, tooth discoloration, and tooth loss.

Schedule an appointment with Lincolnway Dental Center to learn more about good oral hygiene habits. Walk into 648 North Randall Road, Aurora, IL 60506. Contact us at (630) 897-1300 or visit our website for more information. 

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