You may brush your teeth every day and floss most days of the week, but good dental hygiene does more than help your breath smell better. It also prevents cavities and gum disease and may help ensure you don’t have to replace your natural teeth with false teeth somewhere down the line.
Dr. Swaintek-Lamb and the rest of our team here at Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville recommend you see us every six months. We’ll provide thorough cleanings and oral exams to spot any start of disease or decay -- before it turns into a problem.
Good oral hygiene not only keeps your mouth in tip-top shape but is also necessary for good overall health. Here are some ways good dental hygiene and regular checkups benefit you.
It keeps your teeth healthy
Brushing and flossing daily keeps plaque levels down. Plaque is a sticky white substance produced by the bacteria in your mout, and is actually a normal part of your oral environment.
However, letting plaque buildup on your teeth and gums increases the risk of cavities and tooth decay. If you miss even one day of brushing, then plaque can harden into tartar. Tartar may lead to oral health issues such as gum disease, and it can become stained so it’s yellow or brown.
Regular brushing and flossing after eating is important to help keep your teeth healthy, especially after sweets. When you consume sugary foods, such as soda, juice, or candy, your mouth becomes more acidic. The acid eats away at your tooth enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay.
It allows you to eat and drink without problems
Tooth enamel is one of the hardest substances in your entire body, which gives your teeth the stamina to withstand years and years of chewing. While dental prosthetics have come a long way, your natural teeth are much stronger.
Chewing food starts the digestive process. It tears and grinds the food into small pieces, making it easier to swallow. When your natural teeth are in good shape you can eat a variety of foods, including apples, carrots, steak, and ice cream.
But if you’re not taking care of your teeth, you may experience pain or an intolerance to hot or cold foods and drinks, which may affect your food choice or your desire to eat. And tooth loss related to poor oral hygiene can make eating even harder and affect your quality of life, especially as you get older.
It helps protect your health
Good dental hygiene not only keeps your teeth healthy but your body, too. If you don’t take care of your teeth with daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings, the bacteria in your mouth can travel to other parts of your body and may contribute to health conditions such as:
- Infection in your heart, called endocarditis
- Heart disease
- Systemic inflammation
- Worsening of lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or pneumonia
- Tips for good dental hygiene
To keep you and your teeth healthy:
- Brush at least twice a day
- Brush after eating, especially after sugary foods
- Floss once a day
- See Dr. Swaintek-Lamb as scheduled for cleanings and checkups
In addition to cleanings and oral examinations, our team can teach you the proper technique for brushing and flossing and offer suggestions for tools and products to use at home for good oral health.