By now, you may have already seen the value of daily oral hygiene when it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth with strong teeth and gums. By brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste, and flossing in between the teeth and along the gum line at least once daily, while consistently consuming a balanced diet and limiting snacks between meals, you are greatly boosting the oral environment in your mouth.
Keeping your mouth clean is the number one goal of oral hygiene habits since bacteria continually thrive in the oral cavity and are created and magnified whenever you eat and drink, particularly sweet or starchy items. During meals and snacks is also the time when food particles and oral debris amass to contribute to this buildup. Brushing and flossing every day keep this accumulation to a minimum so that it doesn’t get a chance to wear down tooth enamel or irritate the gums. Your goal is to keep tooth decay and gum disease away from your smile.
To understand why you need to clean your teeth and gums daily, it helps to know what plaque is and how it affects your oral environment. When you run your tongue across your teeth before brushing them, you might feel a sticky film. This soft, colorless substance is a combination of millions of oral bacteria, saliva, and food residue. Every time you eat, the sugars in the food feed this oral bacteria, which then release acids that wear down tooth enamel. If you don’t remove plaque daily, it will build up and harden into a more visible, thick, white deposit. Left alone, hardened plaque can cause holes in the enamel, resulting in tooth decay. Hardened plaque can also irritate the gum tissue, resulting in gingivitis, or gum disease. Because plaque is always building up in your mouth, your best protection is brushing and flossing daily and having twice-yearly dental cleanings, which remove calcified plaque.
To learn more about taking care of your smile at home, give our office a call today for more information or to schedule an appointment. Be sure to see us at least twice a year!