Oral hygiene is one thing we should not take for granted, as it can impact our entire well-being. Good oral hygiene helps you thrive on a daily basis, from speaking clearly, to tasting the foods you enjoy, to smiling and feeling good. When oral hygiene is neglected, you are at greater risk of experiencing dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and eventually tooth loss. In addition, poor oral hygiene can allow bacteria to travel to other parts of your body, which can increase the risk of systemic health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. We will discuss a brief overview of the importance of good oral hygiene
Oral hygiene encompasses the routine of taking care of your smile, including your teeth, gums, and entire mouth. It involves preventing oral diseases like tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and much more. This can be accomplished through essential practices such as daily brushing and flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly. Your dentist plays a key role in helping you maintain your overall health through their expertise in detecting, managing, and treating oral diseases.
Oral Hygiene Facts in Belmont
- Diet has a significant impact on oral health. In Belmont, 59% of the residents report that their diet is generally healthy, according to data.
- The data also reports that people living in Belmont rated the overall health of their teeth and gums on average at 60%.
- According to the same report, Belmont residents on average last visited a dentist one year ago.
- For Belmont residents of the age 30 years and older, 8% reported being embarrassed because of their teeth, mouth or dentures.
- Belmont residents of the age 30 years and older also reported using dental floss an average of 4 days per week, and an oral rinse an average of 2 days per week.
Signs of Bad/Poor Oral Hygiene
- Persistent tooth pain, often indicating a sign of tooth decay.
- Bleeding, swollen, or tender gums can be a sign of an underlying problem occurring like gum disease.
- Tooth decay, also known as dental cavities, represents a sign of oral bacterial infection.
- Persistent bad breath is often a result of an abundance of harmful odor-producing bacteria.
- Loose teeth can be a sign of gum disease and loss of oral bone support.
- Oral sores that don’t seem to go away can indicate poor oral health.
- Gum recession can make your teeth appear longer as a result of bacteria that have destroyed the gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth.
- Jaw swelling can be a life-threatening indication of infection and can be triggered by poor oral hygiene.
Oral Hygiene Tips
Proper brushing techniques
As we all know, brushing our teeth matters, but it’s also how we brush that plays a role in our oral health too. It is important to brush at least twice a day, and to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your teeth and gums. Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle toward your gums and swipe in circular motions on the surface of your teeth to remove bacteria below the gumline. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue! The tongue similarly harbors smelly oral bacteria that can damage your oral health if not removed.
Flossing and mouthwash recommendations
Flossing can help keep cavities away by removing bacterial plaque from spaces where brushing cannot reach. Flossing is recommended at least once a day. For best results, take a piece of floss that is about 18 inches long and use your fingers to guide the floss around the tooth on both sides forming a C shape around your gums.
An antibacterial mouthwash is another great oral health tool that can help keep bacteria and food debris from causing harm to your teeth. Opt for an alcohol-free mouthwash to prevent dry mouth.
Importance of regular dental check-ups
Visiting your dentist regularly for routine treatment is a major part of maintaining good oral health. Dental exams and cleanings are needed to keep your smile healthy, and it is often recommended at least every 6 months. In some instances, your dental professional may even recommend dental visits at a higher frequency, such as every 3 months, depending on your oral health status.
Maintaining a healthy diet for oral health
It can be hard to imagine how our diet choices influence our oral health, but it definitely plays a significant role. Foods high in sugar and acids stimulate oral bacteria to multiply and cause harm to your entire oral cavity.
The frequency in which we consume foods and drinks high in sugars also makes a difference, which is why it is recommended to limit between-meal snacks. Plus, more saliva is released during mealtime, which can help lower your risk of experiencing dry mouth. Implement a healthy balanced diet including lots of water, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat and fat-free dairy foods.
Oral Hygiene for Kids in Belmont
Importance of teaching children good oral hygiene habits
Oral hygiene is important at all ages, and it’s never too late to join on the bandwagon. It can be tremendously beneficial to start teaching children about good oral hygiene habits early to help prevent them from experiencing dental diseases and other issues down the road.
Pediatric dental care in Belmont
If your child needs dental care, there are many pediatric dental care clinics in Belmont that can help address any of your child’s oral care needs. Children with untreated cavities can lead to them experiencing pain and infections that can potentially be life-threatening. In addition, it can also result in them having to miss school and have lower academic grades than children with good oral hygiene. Your dental professional may recommend treatments including dental sealants and fluoride for your children to help protect against cavities. Fortunately, Belmont’s water supply also contains fluoride, which is a natural mineral that helps prevent tooth decay.
Senior Dental Care in Belmont
Importance of oral health in older adults
Oral health problems can impact us all differently as we increase in age. Older adults often have an increased risk of having gum disease, untreated tooth decay, tooth loss, and oral cancer. Older adults often face other chronic diseases, like arthritis, diabetes, and heart diseases that also impact oral health. On top of that, medications to treat many of these conditions often cause dry mouth, which increases the risk of cavities.
Common dental problems in seniors
To manage oral health, it is recommended for seniors to continue to practice good oral hygiene, visit the dentist for regular check-ups and follow-up treatments, drink fluoridated water, avoid smoking and excessive alcohol use, and to maintain control of existing medical conditions with regular physician check-ups.
Long-Term Effects of Poor Oral Hygiene
Risks of ignoring dental care
- Oral health can impact your well-being by affecting other organs in your body. Research has found that poor oral hygiene can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, respiratory infections, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Tooth decay is a common result of poor oral hygiene and is 100% preventable!
- Poor oral health can lead to gum disease, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, gum recession, bone loss, tooth loss, among many other oral issues.
- Chronic bad breath is commonly caused by poor oral hygiene.
- Neglecting your oral health can result in cracked or chipped teeth.
- Poor oral hygiene and an unhealthy diet can cause the outer layer of your teeth to breakdown, leaving the teeth discolored and misshaped.
Recommended Products for Oral Hygiene
Toothbrush and toothpaste recommendations
The American Dental Association recommends using soft-bristle toothbrushes with small to medium sized heads. Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective in removing bacterial dental plaque. You should replace your toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles become visibly frayed. Be sure to brush at least two times a day for two minutes each time.
In terms of toothpastes, there are many different types available to suit different needs that you may have. It is recommended to have a toothpaste containing fluoride, which is a natural mineral that fights against tooth decay. Some toothpastes contain anti-bacterial agents, whitening agents, flavor additives, and other ingredients that help make them tailor your needs.
Mouthwash and flossing products
Mouthwash is a nice additive measure to help fight off oral bacteria. It is best to have a mouthwash with fluoride and anti-bacterial ingredients to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. In addition, choosing a mouthwash without alcohol can help lower your risk of developing dry mouth.
Dental floss is necessary to clean in-between your teeth. There are many different types of dental floss such as flavored floss, unwaxed, wax-coated, floss picks, and floss that contains fluoride. It is recommended to use regular string floss over floss picks, as these can help clean your teeth more effectively.
Choosing the right dental products
There are so many over-the-counter options to choose from when it comes to dental products. One of the most important things to look for when choosing your items is the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This label ensures that the product has been approved by specialists in the field for safety and efficacy. Your dentist may also offer personal product recommendations depending on your specific dental conditions.
Treatments Available at Belmont
Common dental treatments offered
There are many dental treatments available at Belmont. Some of the most common include comprehensive exams with dental X-rays, dental cleanings, tooth extractions, teeth whitening, root canal therapy, dental crowns and bridges, dental veneers, fillings, dentures, braces, and clear aligners.
Explanation of dental procedures
- A comprehensive exams, involving an oral cancer screening and dental X-rays is necessary for your dental professional to diagnose any oral issues.
- Teeth Cleanings are typically performed every 3 to 6 months and help remove harmful bacterial plaque and calculus from the teeth.
- Tooth extractions are performed when your tooth is no longer able remain healthily in your mouth. Your dentist will numb the area and remove the infected or damaged tooth and offer options for replacement.
- Teeth whitening is a relatively quick and simple procedure if you are looking to brighten up your smile. From over-the-counter products like bleaching strips to in-office whitening procedures, there are many options available to whiten teeth.
- Root canal therapy is indicated for teeth that have become infected on the inside or to support a tooth that is excessively worn down. The dentist will remove any infected tissue from inside the tooth and fill the root with a material to prevent bacteria from reinfecting the tooth.
- Dental crowns and bridges are caps that cover a tooth/teeth that need extra support as a result of being weak, broken down or decayed.
- Dental veneers are thin caps placed over the front of your teeth to improve its appearance.
- Fillings are used to help repair damaged or decayed teeth. Any decay is removed and a tooth-colored material is placed and built-up to the natural shape of the tooth.
- Dentures are a removable prosthesis that helps replace one or more missing teeth.
- Braces and clear aligners are orthodontic appliances used to help align teeth and correct the bite to allow for better function and esthetics.
Importance of seeking professional dental care
Professional dental care is a necessity, as your dentist will diagnose, treat, and help you manage oral conditions. Your dentist will check for any problems and can catch signs of oral diseases like oral cancer and gum disease early on before progressing. Professional dental cleanings are essential for removing hardened dental plaque, also known as dental calculus, from the teeth which cannot be achieved with regular toothbrushing and flossing at home.
Advantages of Good Oral Hygiene
Benefits of healthy teeth and Gums
Good oral hygiene can help lower your risk of dental disease. Tooth decay and gum disease are a result of bacteria, which stimulate inflammation throughout the mouth and even potentially other parts of the body. Proper brushing and flossing can help keep oral bacteria at bay.
Improved overall health
As mentioned, oral care can improve your overall health by helping you avoid problems like diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions that have been linked to oral conditions.
Having a healthy smile can make you feel overall more confident. Confidence is a wonderful trait to have, especially when being social, applying for jobs, and simply interacting with people in general.
Prevention is the best free way to maintain a healthy smile. Taking care of your teeth and prioritizing your oral health is key to helping you improve your self-confidence, overall health, and general well-being. Be sure you are diligent with a proper oral hygiene routine at home and scheduling your regular dental check-ups.