From a very young age, we are taught the importance of having good oral health habits. In recent years, researchers have found a link between good oral hygiene and improved overall health, including a lower risk for cardiovascular diseases. These findings have given even more prominence to oral health habits and regular checkups with a Red Deer dentist. In this article, you will learn why you should maintain good dental hygiene and how to achieve this.
Importance of good oral health habits
The best way to illustrate the importance of good oral hygiene is by considering what happens when we don’t take care of our teeth. In normal conditions, a sticky film of bacteria is constantly being formed on the surface of your teeth. This is called plaque, and it can affect your teeth and gums. When you don’t brush your teeth regularly, plaque builds up and over time it can cause serious dental health issues such as dental cavities and gum disease. On the other hand, with time plaque becomes tartar, which is a harder substance that can’t be removed just by brushing your teeth.
How do dental cavities occur?
Dental cavities occur when the plaque on the surface of your teeth interacts with the sugars you eat. During this interaction, the bacteria found in plaque produce acid which erodes the enamel. The enamel is the outer layer of your teeth. It is very resistant and protects the dentin and pulp, which are the central parts of your teeth and are much more vulnerable. When dental cavities are not treated by a dentist near you, they can reach these tissues and cause severe infections that require very complex procedures like root canals. In some cases, dental cavities can even lead to tooth loss.
How does poor oral hygiene lead to gum disease?
Gum disease also results from the buildup of plaque on the surface of your teeth and gums. It has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the milder type of gum disease and it involves the inflammation of the gums. At this stage, gum disease is reversible. However, if you don’t have good oral hygiene, gum disease can progress to periodontitis, when plaque and tartar begin to build up below the gumline and affect all the tissues that support your teeth. In the end, this condition can also lead to tooth loss.
How to avoid these dental issues?
The best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is to have good oral health habits. These include brushing your teeth after every meal using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. The reason why dentists recommend doing this after every meal is to remove all the plaque, as well as any sugars and carbohydrates from the surface of your teeth. On the other hand, fluoride is important because it helps remineralize and strengthen enamel. Something you shouldn’t forget is to floss daily. Unfortunately, your toothbrush can’t reach all the parts of your teeth and flossing becomes necessary to remove food that is lodged between your teeth.
The importance of dental checkups
One of the best ways to improve your oral hygiene in Red Deer is to schedule regular checkups with your dentist. They will be able to examine your teeth and give you advice on how to improve your oral health habits. Sometimes, they can do this by correcting your brushing or flossing technique. On the other hand, even if you brush your teeth three times a day and floss daily, it is inevitable for tartar to build-up over time, and this can be addressed with routine dental cleanings. Furthermore, your dentist can administer professional fluoride treatments to further strengthen your enamel and prevent dental cavities.