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Father and son brushing teeth in bathroom

Everyone should practice good oral hygiene and proper dental care. The condition of your teeth, gums and entire mouth is integral to your overall health. Preventive measures can keep your teeth and gums healthy and help you maintain a beautiful white smile for many years to come.

Why Is Good Dental Care So Important?

From an early age, practicing good oral hygiene can prepare you for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. Many people don’t realize that your dental care is directly linked to many other aspects of your health. When you practice proper dental care, you are not only fighting bad breath, gum disease and cavities; you’re also preventing bacteria in your mouth from traveling to other areas of your body and causing additional health problems.

Good oral hygiene can prevent gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis, which are linked to issues like heart disease, stroke, pregnancy complications, pneumonia and even endocarditis.

Poor oral hygiene can lead create problems in addition to these potential health complications. If you have been neglecting your gums and teeth, you might start to notice certain adverse signs and symptoms. They include the following:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing your teeth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loosening teeth
  • Mouth infections
  • Mouth sores
  • Swollen jaw
  • Toothaches
  • Tooth decay

How Can You Practice Good Oral Hygiene?

Family brushing teeth

Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry recommend that you develop good oral hygiene habits now if you haven’t picked them up from your childhood. You should aim to brush your teeth at least two times per day and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums. Thoroughly brush the front, back and sides of your teeth and use toothpaste with fluoride.

You can also use an electric toothbrush. The type with a round brush head is considered the best. Let the brush’s motion do all the work and avoid putting excess pressure on your teeth. Brush for the full two minutes to eliminate food particles and plaque.

To truly practice proper dental care, you should also take a moment to brush your tongue. The tongue is filled with bacteria; it can also cause you to have bad breath.

Change your toothbrush every three or four months. They can hold bacteria, so if you use an old toothbrush, it may not do a good job of cleaning your teeth and gums.

Floss once per day with dental floss and use a piece that’s at least 18 inches long to get between the teeth. Wrap the floss around the front and back of each tooth and on either side to ensure that you cover all of each tooth. You can also use hand-held flossers if you have trouble using regular floss.

Use mouthwash each night to keep bacteria at bay. It can help rinse out your mouth and keep your breath smelling fresher. Choose one without alcohol to prevent your mouth from becoming dry; dry mouth can also lead to excess bacteria buildup.

Make sure to visit Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry every six months for your regular dental cleanings and checkups. The dentist can ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy and screen you for other diseases like oral cancer. If you are diagnosed with periodontitis, a gum disease that isn’t curable but can be managed, you might have to come in for checkups every three months.

Avoid smoking and using other tobacco products. Smoking and using chewing tobacco can lead to the development of gum disease and even oral cancer. Talk to your doctor about quitting smoking so that you can get an appropriate treatment option such as the patch or special gum.

Drink plenty of water to improve your dental health. Water keeps your mouth properly hydrated, which can help fight the growth of excess bacteria. You should drink at least six eight-ounce glasses of water per day, but more is also beneficial. Staying properly hydrated can also improve your overall health and help you lose weight or maintain your current weight.

Consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those that are crunchy. They can keep your teeth healthier and stronger. Avoid consuming too much sugar to prevent cavities. You should also be wary of having too many acidic foods as they can wear down the sensitive enamel of your teeth.

What Are the Benefits of Good Dental Care?

Practicing proper dental care can provide you with a variety of benefits. They include the following:

  • Stronger, healthy teeth and gums
  • Fresher-smelling breath
  • Brighter, more attractive smile
  • Less likelihood of cavities
  • Lower risk of gum disease
  • Lower risk of oral cancer

If you’re in Alpharetta, GA or surrounding areas and need expert dental care, contact Midway Family and Cosmetic Dentistry at your earliest convenience.

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