Good dental hygiene provides many benefits beyond a bright smile, explains Mississauga dentist
Bright smiles are just one of the many advantages of daily brushing and flossing. Maintaining good dental hygiene, which is the practice of taking care of your mouth to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth clean and healthy, is one of the most important things you can do for your overall oral health. Dr. Jameela Jifri, general dentist at Huron Dental Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, explains the benefits.
Regular dental hygiene can improve the health of your mouth
By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can keep your mouth healthy and prevent many issues that can negatively affect your overall oral health. The benefits of regular dental hygiene include:
Healthy teeth: Tooth decay and cavities occur when either the enamel, which is the tooth’s outer coating, or the dentin, the layer underneath the enamel, are eaten away by bacteria. These bacteria live off sugars that you eat from foods such as bread, candy, milk, or soda. In the process of digesting these sugars and excreting acid, plaque is formed on the teeth that can then destroy the outer layers of the teeth and create holes in them. Regular brushing and flossing remove the sugars and starches that these bacteria live on, which helps prevent tooth decay and stops cavities from forming.
Healthy gums: Gum inflammation and disease, also called gingivitis and periodontitis, have the same cause as cavities and tooth decay. Bacteria grow in your mouth after you eat starchy or sugary foods, and eventually the plaque that they form can infect your gums, which are the tissues that surround your teeth. Untreated gum disease can cause many long-term issues such as infections, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Flossing and brushing after eating can halt these harmful bacteria in their tracks and prevent gum disease from occurring.
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Good breath: Bad breath, which is also called halitosis, is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene due to gases produced by the bacteria on your teeth. Gum disease can also cause bad breath. Regular brushing and flossing keep these bacteria at bay and can help keep your breath fresh. You can also use antibacterial mouth rinses, which also reduce the bad bacteria, to help maintain good breath.
Keeping your mouth healthy has financial benefits too
By keeping good oral hygiene, you can also save money on unexpected dental care! Treatments for tooth decay, loose teeth, and gum disease can add up. Regular brushing and flossing after meals can help you avoid costly trips to the dentist for fillings, crowns, implants, and other treatments. The cost of preventive measures such as toothbrushes, floss, and regular dental hygiene visits adds up to be much less per year than unexpected trips to the dentist due to poor oral health.
Tips for maintaining healthy teeth and gums
You can take several measures to ensure your teeth, gums, and mouth stay healthy year after year. Following are some recommended ways to maintain good oral health:
- Brush your teeth after every meal, or at least twice a day, with a toothpaste that has the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) seal of approval on it. This seal indicates to consumers that the benefits that the manufacturer says the toothpaste has have been reviewed by the CDA and validated by scientific evidence.
- Use floss, a water flosser, or other interdental cleaning products to clean between your teeth every day. This eliminates food debris and germs from the small crevasses between your teeth and helps keep your gums healthy.
- Schedule regular dental hygiene appointments to get your teeth professionally cleaned and your overall oral health examined. You can also ask your dentist any questions you have about oral health and dental hygiene at these visits.
- Use a daily mouthwash that is intended to reduce plaque, bad breath, gingivitis, and tooth decay.
- Maintain a healthy diet that limits sugary foods, such as sodas, candy, and other sweets. Also try to limit snacks and starchy foods such as pretzels, bread, and chips, which can leave starches on the teeth that bacteria feed on. If you eat these foods, make sure to brush your teeth as soon as possible afterwards.
We love to see bright, healthy smiles on our patients! Dr. Jameela Jifri and associates at Huron Dental Centre in Mississauga can help keep your mouth healthy and answer any questions you have about oral health. Schedule a routine hygiene appointment today by calling us at 855 393-0900.
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