Maintaining a healthy mouth is essential to staying healthy in general. Periodontal (gum) disease has been associated with serious systemic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Your Sheridan dentists at Grinnell Street Dental understand that your risk factors for many illnesses can be significantly lowered with proper oral health care. Review the following tips to see how you can improve your daily hygiene routine.
Brushing and Flossing
- Although the act of brushing your teeth seems quite simple, a proper technique can mean the difference between helping and harming your teeth. Resist the impulse to vigorously scrub your teeth clean. Harsh brushing can wear down your enamel (the thin substance that protects your tooth’s crown). Instead, gently brush plaque off of your teeth, including at the gumline where gingival tissue meets the tooth structure.
- Steer clear of natural toothbrushes that boast animal-hair bristles. These bristles are harsh, and can also damage your tooth enamel. Opt for soft-bristled toothbrushes that carry the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
- Flossing should also be done with care. Jamming the thread down between your teeth can traumatize your gums and cause them to recede from your teeth. Exposed tooth roots have little to no protection against irritating debris and infectious bacteria (enamel doesn’t extend below the crown).
- Take your time cleaning your teeth. You should brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day, and each session should last between 2-4 minutes.
Oral Health Maintenance
- In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, the ADA recommends that you visit your dentist at least once every six months for a comprehensive dental checkup. Regular checkups and cleanings allow your dentist to routinely inspect your mouth for signs of infection and disease. By detecting oral issues early, you have a greater chance of successfully treating them.
- Replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush is ineffective, and the wayward bristles can irritate sensitive gum tissue.
- Do not smoke tobacco or chew smokeless tobacco. The carcinogens in tobacco can alter the natural ecology of your mouth, drastically increasing your risk of developing oral cancer. There are no remedies for the damage that tobacco causes your mouth. The only solution is to quit, or don’t start.
To learn more about optimizing your oral health, schedule a consultation by contacting our Sheridan dental office at (307) 672-7567. We welcome patients from Sheridan, WY and the surrounding communities.