What Is Dental Hygiene?
Are you looking to learn more about dental hygiene and how you can improve your lifestyle and dental routine? Well, you’re in the right place. We at Didsbury Dental Practice are experts in all things dental related and we’re here to help.
We know some people find it difficult to visit a dentist and this often stems from a childhood fear, but we’re here to put your mind at ease, educate you on dental hygiene best practices and tell you all about what we can do for you and your beautiful smile.
What is dental hygiene?
Dental hygiene refers to the overall cleanliness and health of teeth and gums. It is so important to look after the health of your mouth because if you don’t, this can cause complications down the road and result in a loss of teeth, gum disease and other dental-related problems.
With just a few simple steps, you and your whole family can have healthy-looking gums and teeth so you can smile happily every day and show off those pearly whites.
Seeing a dentist should be part of your dental hygiene routine for check-ups or routine treatments. But, to reduce your chance of experiencing a dental emergency and putting yourself in a position where you need to see an out-of-hours dentist, good brushing, flossing and a healthy diet are all part of good dental hygiene.
The importance of dental hygiene
To emphasise the importance of dental hygiene here we share what could happen if you don’t have a good dental hygiene routine.
Oral hygiene is of course important for the sake of your mouth health. Without brushing, flossing or using mouthwash, food would stay in our mouths, stuck between our teeth, feeding the bacteria in our mouths and causing our teeth to decay. A mouth full of bacteria would also cause gum disease, ulcers and even tonsillitis, all of which can be very painful.
But keeping our teeth and gums clean has implications beyond our mouths, it can also prevent other illnesses. Having any kind of infection in the body produces a response of increased production of white blood cells to fight the infection, which causes the body temperature to rise, sometimes resulting in fever, as well as painful glands and swelling in the infected area.
An untreated infection in our mouths can cause each of these symptoms, which can then cause inflammation of the arteries, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular refers to the heart and blood system in the body which is responsible for supplying the whole body with oxygen and nutrients, so it’s crucial we protect our cardiovascular health as much as possible.
Some diseases can even be first spotted through problems in our mouths, such as diabetes which can cause lesions or infections in the mouth, so looking after our teeth and gums is essential for our overall health.
How to practise good dental hygiene
Practising good dental hygiene isn’t complicated at all and it’s something that everyone can do. If you have children at home, getting yourself into a good dental hygiene routine can really help them to do the same.
Here are some top tips on how to maintain good dental hygiene:
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Most dentists recommend using a soft-bristle brush but any new, clean brush is fine.
- Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months or when the bristles are no longer straight
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Clean between your teeth in the tiny gaps using dental floss or interdental brushes
- Cut down on foods that are bad for your teeth such as sugar
- Get regular dental check-ups
- See a dental hygienist.
Visiting a dentist
As we mentioned earlier, some people are frightened to visit their dentist and sometimes put it off. We’re here to tell you that you have nothing to be afraid of. If there is something in particular that you are worrying about, always speak to your dentist about it and they will put your mind at ease.
If you need to have a procedure done, your dentist can walk you through exactly what is going to happen and things that can do to make sure you are super comfortable. Even if you’re still a little wary, it is far better to see your dentist for a few minutes every so often and keep up with good dental care than have to visit your dentist for dental emergencies.
You should have a dental check-up around every 6 months but some people may not need to go as often. As a dental check-up, expect your dentist to ask you a few questions about your overall health, dental hygiene routine and if you have any concerns. They will then have a thorough look at your teeth, recommend any further treatment and send you on your way with some helpful advice.
A dental hygienist isn’t quite the same as a dentist. They don’t perform dental procedures such as fillings or tooth extractions so they can purely concentrate on the health of your teeth. A dental hygienist will clean your teeth and inform you of how to best look after them.
When you see a dental hygienist, they’ll usually perform a teeth cleaning, which involves scraping away the plaque from the gaps between your teeth. Plaque is a result of the bacteria in your mouth that sticks to your teeth. This is perfectly normal, however, it’s important to remove as much of it as possible as it contributes to tooth decay and the formation of cavities.
Didsbury Dental Practice: Who are we?
We are Didsbury Dental Practice, a 24-hour dentist, regarded as one of Manchester’s premier dental facilities. We have a highly experienced team offering a range of treatments including emergency dentistry, dental implants, teeth whitening, restorative dentistry and orthodontics.
We are equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology to create beautiful, healthy smiles in our tranquil surroundings, whilst delivering a level of patient comfort like no other dental practice. In addition, we are even an out-of-hours dentist for when you have a dental emergency.
Our team is pushing dental care and smile transformations to the next level, ensuring every patient is treated with the most sophisticated care and the best-customised treatment in a truly relaxed atmosphere. Furthermore, all of our staff are multi-lingual, speaking languages such as German, French, Polish, Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.
NHS vs Private dental practice
Often people wonder if they would receive better treatment with a private dentist and whilst the NHS is of course a fantastic resource, it is underfunded. Often, patients visiting an NHS practice experience long wait times due to staff shortages. When you choose a private dentist like ours, you will experience:
- Shorter wait times
- Better quality of care with state-of-the-art equipment due to a much higher budget
- Wider access to dental specialists
- More time with your dentist
- Better, more personalised aftercare
- A more relaxed waiting room environment with fewer people
- Quicker solutions to dental emergencies and treatment
- Greater appointment flexibility
- Quicker laboratory turn-around
- Payment plans
- Better customer service.
And so much more! If you want to find out more, here are some differences between an NHS and a private dentist.
Now you know all about dental hygiene, pick up that toothbrush, toothpaste and floss and get brushing! Make sure you visit your dentist for regular check-ups and keep an eye on your diet. In addition, have a look on our website for more information about what treatments we offer.
If you have spent any time at all imagining what it would be like to have perfect, pearly white teeth then it may be more within your reach than what you have always thought. Have a look at what cosmetic and restorative treatments we can do for you to give you that winning smile.