How to Have the Best Dental Hygienedidsburyadmin
Dental hygiene isn’t just brushing your teeth twice a day. While that’s a good start, you should be taking other precautions to look after your teeth and gums, and keep them healthy. Here are some tips for you to have the best dental hygiene.
Why Dental Hygiene is Important
By keeping our teeth and mouths clean, we’re removing harmful bacteria that can cause cavities, tooth decay, oral infections and gum disease. All of these issues can be painful and require invasive treatment at the dentist’s, such as root canals, tooth extractions and dental implants.
Cynics might say that there are so many options nowadays to have new and improved teeth such as veneers, that you don’t need to practise good oral hygiene anymore. However, keeping your natural teeth for as long as possible is always in your best interests, as many tooth replacements including veneers and crowns, are temporary and must be replaced every 5 to 15 years. A Dental Phobia survey showed that up to 53% of people fear going to the dentist, and 17% will avoid having necessary dental work done because of their fear – so you can avoid this altogether, by maintaining good oral hygiene.
Plus, if dental issues are left untreated, the pain and problem will greatly affect your quality of life, as well as potentially lead to other health problems.
Some serious health problems that have been linked to poor oral hygiene include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Increased heart attack risk
- Increased stroke risk
- Stomach and bowel problems like sickness, IBS and IBD
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Small studies in Asia have also begun to show a link between poor oral hygiene and cancers of the mouth and throat, but more studies need to be done to confirm this correlation. However, with the number of proven health risks, it’s clear that a good oral hygiene routine is essential for good health.
The Best Oral Hygiene Routine
Good oral hygiene starts with what you put in your mouth. That means a low-sugar diet, no, or very few, fizzy drinks, and no smoking, as these combine to be some of the worst things for damaging your teeth. However, it’s also important to look after your teeth properly. Here is the best dental hygiene routine for you to follow to keep your mouth healthy and your teeth shining white.
Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush is the best way to remove bacteria and food particles from your mouth, especially the gaps between your teeth. Bacteria feed on the food particles and spread in your mouth, covering your teeth in a brown sticky substance known as dental plaque. This plaque eats away the protective enamel covering your teeth, causing holes to form. Once the holes have formed, the bacteria then infect the sensitive dental pulp beneath the teeth, causing gum disease, known as gingivitis.
By brushing our teeth before bed, we’re removing all of the leftover food and bacteria from our mouths, so they don’t feed and multiply overnight.
When we wake up in the morning, we should rinse our mouths with water and spit, so we don’t swallow any bacteria that has been growing in our mouths overnight which may cause an upset stomach, before brushing our teeth again. Brushing our teeth before we consume anything, whether it’s tea, coffee, or breakfast foods, is important to rid our mouths of any bacteria before adding sugars into our mouths for the bacteria to feed on.
Soft toothbrushes are also recommended, not just because they reduce the chances of us damaging the protective enamel on our teeth ourselves, but they also make it more comfortable to brush other parts of our mouths that need bacteria to be removed. This includes our tongue and gums, as they can also hold bacteria that can lead to dental hygiene issues.
You should also wash your face once done brushing to remove any toothpaste residue from your skin which may cause acne.
Dental floss is a waxed type of string that we slide between each of our teeth each day to remove any additional food or bacteria. Toothbrush bristles can’t always reach into the gaps in our teeth, especially if our teeth overlap and are packed closely together, so dental floss is essential to slide into the gap and prevent plaque from forming in these hard-to-reach areas.
Rinse with Mouthwash
Most of the bacteria in our mouths have been removed by now thanks to your toothbrush and dental floss, however, some remain in other parts of our mouth. The roof of our mouths, cheeks and tonsils can all hold onto bacteria that we miss when brushing and flossing, so rinsing and gargling with mouthwash can kill any remaining harmful bacteria.
It’s important to note, however, that mouthwash is an additional step, not an alternative to brushing your teeth. Your mouth may feel fresh and your breath may have improved, but mouthwash is not as effective at removing the bacteria on your teeth as gently brushing with a toothbrush.
Visit Your Dental Hygienist
While this of course doesn’t have to be part of your daily oral hygiene routine, you should still book routine appointments with your dental hygienist. Unlike a dentist who performs dental surgery, a dental hygienist cares for the health of your mouth and teeth, so the best way to stay on top of it is by having a checkup every six months.
If you have known dental issues, your hygienist will recommend that you come back for checkups and clean-ups more often, perhaps every four months. They may also recommend this if you’re a smoker, as smoking greatly increases your chances of oral health problems, including mouth cancer.
Why Visiting a Dental Hygienist is Crucial for Your Oral Health
In a dental hygiene appointment, the hygienist will:
- Look at the health of your mouth
- Advise which areas need more attention with brushing or flossing
- Remove the plaque from your teeth with a special tool
- Advise on whether you need to come back for checkups or cleaning more often
This doesn’t mean that you can neglect your dental hygiene because the dental hygienist will take care of your teeth for you; the dental hygienist is there for assistance. A certain amount of tooth discolouration and plaque buildup is natural over time, but the better care you take of your teeth, the less likely it will be an issue.
Dental hygienists can also spot any dental issues you may not have noticed, such as cracks in your back teeth or spots on your tongue or the inside of your cheeks. They can advise on what treatment you may need to have done, or simply refer you to the dentist who can arrange to fix any broken teeth, treat any infections, or send you to a cancer specialist if needed. The sooner issues are spotted, the higher the chances of a positive outcome, so see your hygienist regularly.
Dentist Appointments: NHS or Private Practice
The treatment you receive in terms of care from an NHS dentist and a private one will largely be the same, as they are both qualified medical professionals, however, there are some differences. You cannot have cosmetic dentistry on the NHS, as it is solely for medically necessary procedures, so if you want your teeth whitened, for example, you can only have this done privately.
More importantly, the NHS has a shortage of dentists and many dental practices are not taking on new patients, so if you’re not already registered, you may not be able to get an NHS dental appointment. Private dental practices have more available appointments, and at more flexible times that are more convenient for the working population. Like Didsbury Dental Practice!
Book Your Dental Hygiene Appointment Today!
Available for emergency dentistry 24 hours a day in Manchester, Didsbury Dental Practice also has affordable routine appointments with dentists and dental hygienists from 9 am to midnight every day of the year. What are you waiting for? Book your dental hygiene appointment today!