Dr. Jennifer Vitarelli

6 Tips for Improving Dental Health and Hygiene

Your mouth not only allows you to eat your favorite foods and provide nutrition for your body, but it also lets you communicate and express yourself, helping improve and maintain social interaction. A healthy mouth and an excellent set of teeth also make for high self-esteem. Furthermore, it also functions like a “window” to your health, as it gives signals that may indicate health problems. 

For instance, pale and/or bleeding gums may mean that you have a blood disorder. Meanwhile, lowered bone level in one’s lower jaw is symptomatic of osteoporosis. Evidence shows that poor oral health is significantly associated with various health conditions and issues, including cardiovascular diseases, kidney disease, diabetes, stomach ulcers, and oral cancer. 

As for the mouth area, two main issues affect its health:

  • Dental caries – refers to the invasion of bacteria on the tooth, demineralizing the surface that results in the formation of holes
  • Gum disease – refers to the invasion of bacteria along the gum line, causing inflammation as a result of damage on the tissues and bones supporting the teeth

By improving oral hygiene, you can prevent these problems and even improve your overall health. Here are some tips for improving dental hygiene and preventing tooth and gum diseases.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day.

It’s not necessary to brush your teeth after every meal, but you must see to it that you do so twice a day – once in the morning and at night. Brushing your teeth is very important in preventing plaque and bacteria buildup that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. 

Furthermore, it’s also vital that you practice proper brushing technique. An excellent technique to follow is the Modifies Bass technique, wherein you hold the brush head at a 45-degree angle so that the brush is slightly touching the gums. Then, move the brush in tiny circular motions. You may also brush in small horizontal strokes at least 20 times per tooth. Take note not to brush too vigorously to prevent damaging the tooth surface and wounding the gums.

Floss every day.

Brushing is not enough, as you should also floss at least once a day. Flossing reaches the crevices that your toothbrush can’t. So, if you want a thoroughly clean mouth, flossing is the way to go.

Invest in an oral irrigator.

Oral irrigators are newer teeth cleaning aids that work by pumping water in either a steady or pulsating setting. They are designed to flush away tiny food particles and bacterial byproducts. They resemble the cleaning tool used by dentists.

Reduce sugar intake.

Sugar reacts with the bacteria in the saliva, forming an acid that erodes the tooth enamel, the protective layer on the surface of the teeth. As much as possible, reduce your intake of sugary and starchy food, which makes you healthier overall.

Use fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride helps protect and strengthen your tooth enamel so it won’t get easily damaged by tooth decay.

Don’t forget your tongue and cheeks.

When brushing, don’t forget to brush your tongue and underside of the cheeks. They can also harbor bacteria. You can use your soft-bristled toothbrush or a tongue scraper.

Vitarelli Dental is a dental office based in Madison NJ, get in touch today to see how we can help you maintain a great set of teeth.

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