Taking measures to keep your mouth clean is essential for excellent dental health. A daily oral hygiene regimen is needed to remove the dental plaque that causes tooth decay and gum disease. And good oral hygiene not only helps prevent cavities, but is necessary to battle bad breath. After all, we go to great lengths to look and smell pretty -- why not treat our teeth as well as we treat our bodies?
Making an effort to focus on your dental health will not only produce a dazzling smile, but has some added benefits as well. Since oral health is linked to overall health, good oral hygiene can improve your well-being. When your oral health is neglected, bacteria multiply and wreak havoc on your mouth.
If gums become infected with periodontal disease, harmful bacteria can actually enter the bloodstream and make its way to other parts of the body. Practicing good oral hygiene can reduce your chances of developing complications or illnesses from a dental disease and could prevent the need for a costly gum disease treatment.
Regardless of how well you practice oral hygiene at home, regular dental visits every six months are essential to your dental health. A professional dental cleaning will remove dental tartar that you can't remove on your own. If necessary, your dentist may even perform an in-office fluoride dental treatment. And an exam is not only a good time for a checkup, but for checking in -- a dental hygienist can provide tips on brushing and flossing, and show you areas that need improvement in your oral hygiene routine.
What happens when you don't practice proper oral hygiene on a daily basis? Well, not to mention the bad breath problems you're likely to encounter, you'll be a shoe-in for many dental problems, which can lead to tooth loss! And without flossing, cavities can form between teeth, which are harder to spot and even more difficult to treat.
When it comes to optimal oral hygiene care, remember the "Rules of Twos" -- brush at least twice a day, and see a dentist twice a year, get X-rays done every two years.
Oral hygiene is an ongoing practice that requires your attention, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be happy with the results. Unfortunately, you can't take a vacation from your teeth, but you can set them up for a lifetime of dental health!