How to Improve Your Oral Hygiene

Many people fail to realize just how important their oral health is to their well-being. Everything that goes through your mouth affects your entire body, including bacteria. If you have a good oral health routine, you can reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth—and your body. For example, studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease. As a result, a good oral health routine can make a difference in your overall health. 

woman holding a toothbrush about to brush her teeth oral hygiene dentist in Medford New Jersey

Be Sure to Floss

When some people consider their oral care routine, it consists of just brushing their teeth. Although brushing is vital to your oral health, it is not enough to keep your mouth healthy. Even with the best brushing technique and a great toothbrush, there are still places that you won’t be able to reach. In addition, brushing your teeth cleans up to 25% of your mouth, which is inadequate for proper oral health. 

Flossing once a day can remove plaque between your teeth and below your gum line. These are stubborn, hard-to-reach areas that are prone to dental issues. For example, gum disease is common among people who do not floss. This is because the sticky bacteria, plaque, continues to build on every surface of your mouth. As a result, it is difficult for your toothbrush to reach under your gum line. Unfortunately, the plaque will irritate your gums, causing redness, swelling, and, eventually, infection. 

Fortunately, flossing can minimize your risks of gum disease.

Increase Your Water Intake

Water is an essential component of your overall health. However, it is vital to your oral health as well. Your mouth is like its own environment, housing bacteria. Unfortunately, bacteria thrive in a dry environment. This means that harmful bacteria, such as plaque, can multiply. As a result, many dental issues start as a result of a dry mouth, including tooth decay and gum disease. 

Without a dedicated oral health routine, plaque will continue to multiply. Plague consumes the sugars from your food every time you eat, turning it into acid. The acid will begin to break down your enamel. Over time, small pits (cavities) can form that will get deeper without treatment. Once they start to destroy your enamel, a dentist will need to drill out the decayed areas and fill them with a dental filling. Otherwise, the cavity will become an infection requiring a root canal

Watch the Sugar

Sugar is not necessarily the enemy of your teeth. However, the reaction that bacteria has with sugar is the problem. When you consume sugar (artificial or natural), the bacteria in your mouth consume it, creating an acid that destroys your enamel. Whether you are aware of it or not, your diet is a part of your oral health. The more sugar you consume, the more likely you may develop tooth decay or gum disease. Instead, limit your sugar intake or make substitutions when possible. There are many sugar-free options available for just about any candy or sweets. Additionally, you can try adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.