6 Best Practices For Good Oral Hygiene Care
As a dentist in Harrisburg, our mission is always to help you reach and keep your best possible oral health through diagnostic assessment, prevention, and education. Here’s how we’ll develop your personalized oral hygiene care plan based on your needs.
Assessment – First, we will start by reviewing your medical and dental history. To ensure you have proper oral hygiene care, we’ll examine your teeth for decay, visually and with radiographs. Research shows that unchecked plaque on your teeth can lead to periodontal disease – and that is a risk factor for serious illnesses, such as diabetes, lung and heart diseases, and stroke. Then, we’ll take a look at your gum tissue and assess your biting, chewing, and swallowing patterns. Finally, we’ll evaluate your dental readiness for procedures, such as cosmetic smile enhancements, and reassess your overall treatment.
Professional Cleaning – As your dental care provider, we’ll start by screening for oral cancer with clinical measurements, radiographs, and other assessment methods. We’ll clean and scale your teeth to remove pesky surface stains, plaque, and tartar. Most importantly, we’ll be able to educate you about your teeth, gums, and mouth, give you instructions about brushing and flossing, and explain treatment options (i.e., orthodontics, cosmetic procedures, etc.).
You’re probably wondering why oral hygiene care is important. Have you heard the phrase that your eyes are the window to the soul? Very similarly, your mouth can be regarded as a window to your overall health as it can show signs of nutritional deficiencies, illnesses, and general infections. Since your mouth already contains so much bacteria, if it’s not properly taken care of, it can cause serious inflammation and gum infections.
Also, your mouth is a port of entry for infection by allowing harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This can lead to more inflammation in other parts of your body, such as the heart and lungs.
How to maintain a good oral hygiene care regimen:
- Brush your teeth at least two times each day using fluoride toothpaste. The frequency of how much you brush and how you brush is important. Take the time to try to remove all the plaque from your teeth by brushing in circular motions and don’t skip out on your tongue. It doesn’t matter how tired you are either. And at the end of the day, always brush before bed.
- Floss Floss helps to remove plaque and prevents future buildup, which can lead to excess tartar on your teeth. If you suffer from bleeding gums, don’t be afraid to floss … the floss won’t make your gums worse. In fact, flossing helps gums and will likely reduce the bleeding in time.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once a day. Mouthwash helps fight plaque, which can turn into hardened tartar, so daily rinsing is good for your oral hygiene. Another benefit is whiter teeth. Some mouthwashes have low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, which causes a little bit of bleaching and doesn't hurt your gums.
- Eat healthy foods and avoid sugary treats. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria. These bacteria in your mouth need sugar (such as carbohydrates) from foods and drinks to produce acids that damage your teeth. Sugary beverages can significantly contribute to tooth decay. Make sure you eat fresh, crunchy vegetables that provide healthy fiber.
- Eliminate tobacco Nobody wants a smile that’s dull or discolored, and smoking does exactly that. Not to mention it also leaves you with smoker’s breath.
- Schedule regular dental visits. Visit us at least two times a year (or more, depending on your own personal treatment plan) for professional cleanings and checkups. We’ll be able to do deep cleanings, spot potential issues, and offer treatment solutions.