If you want to have healthy teeth and gums, you need to pay attention to your oral hygiene as well as maintain a healthy diet and undergo dental exams on a regular basis. However, some people misunderstand the principles of proper oral hygiene and this can lead to unpredictable complications. In this article, we have gathered seven facts about oral hygiene that you should be aware of.
1. Both tooth brushing and flossing are essential
Indeed, tooth brushing is deemed the most critical part of proper oral hygiene. It helps remove the bacteria from your mouth and keep your teeth clean. Many people neglect the flossing routine but it is also extremely important. Flossing helps remove food particles and dental plaque from interdental spaces that a toothbrush can't reach.
2. Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of various oral issues
Even though some oral issues are accidental, hereditary, or depend on your hormonal balance and/or nutrition, many dental conditions are caused by poor oral hygiene. Since the bacteria isn’t being removed, they multiply and can damage your oral health. For example, gum disease, tartar accumulation, tooth decay, and dental abscess are caused by bacteria overgrowth.
3. You should choose a toothbrush with soft bristles
Some people believe that using a toothbrush with stiff bristles can help clean their teeth better. But the reality is that these stiff bristles can actually scratch your tooth enamel and make your gums bleed. That’s why it is better to choose a toothbrush with soft bristles.
4. Aggressive tooth brushing can affect your teeth and gums
In addition to using toothbrushes with stiff bristles, some people also think that the harder they brush their teeth, the cleaner they are. But it is essential to understand that aggressive tooth brushing can remove your tooth enamel that results in teeth sensitivity, chipped teeth, yellowish teeth, and indentations on the surface of the teeth. You may need to undergo dental bonding or even get dental crowns to save your teeth from further damage.
5. You shouldn't brush your teeth right after eating
There is a common misconception that you should brush your teeth right after having meals to prevent bacteria overgrowth. But you should know that acids in foods and drinks tend to soften your tooth enamel and you may easily remove it during tooth brushing. That’s why you need to wait at least 30 minutes after eating and only then brush your teeth.
6. Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash can help prevent cavities
Fluoride is a mineral that is widely used to prevent cavities and even reverse the development of tooth decay in its initial stage. Many kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes contain fluoride. If it is not enough and you are extremely prone to cavities, you can also ask your dentist about fluoride treatment.
7. Professional teeth cleaning can help prevent gum disease
Teeth cleaning, also known as dental cleaning, is an in-office procedure during which a dental hygienist removes dental plaque, tartar accumulation, and other debris from your mouth. Since tartar accumulation promotes gum disease, regular teeth cleanings are a great option for people who are at risk of gum disease. Additionally, dental cleaning can remove surface stains from your teeth and make them look whiter.
The bottom line
It may seem that taking care of your teeth and gums is quite complicated. But you should understand that it is much easier to prevent the development of many oral issues rather than treat them. That’s why you need to maintain proper oral hygiene, get rid of bad habits, eat healthy foods, drink enough water, and visit a dentist for check-ups regularly.