Surprisingly, your mouth naturally contains billions of bad and good bacteria. In low amounts, even the bad bacteria aren’t harmful. However, when you don’t clean your mouth efficiently, these bacteria build up and mix with saliva and other debris to form plaque – a colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth.
If not cleaned off, plaque hardens to tartar, a hard yellow-brown deposit that adheres to the teeth and around the gum line. Once formed, only a professional can remove tartar using special dental scalers and other tools.
When left in the mouth over long periods, these bacterial deposits release harmful acids that erode your teeth and irritate your gums, causing decay and gum disease. Other complications can include oral thrush, bad breath, dental abscess, tooth loss, and bone loss. These oral problems can increase your risk of health complications like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Fortunately, good oral hygiene habits can help maintain a healthy smile and avoid all these complications.
Use the following tips to maintain healthy mouth, teeth, and gums:
Brushing twice daily is essential to remove food debris in the mouth to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. Flossing is also essential to remove debris trapped between teeth that are hard to reach using a toothbrush. The ADA recommends the following steps for effective brushing and flossing:
Plaque can also build up on your tongue, causing bad breath, oral thrush, gum disease, and tooth infections. Unfortunately, rinsing with mouthwash or water alone won’t effectively eliminate bacteria and plaque from your tongue. Get a toothbrush with a tongue scraper on the head to clean your tongue. Be gentle, as aggressive brushing can break the skin, causing discomfort and open sores.
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse, especially after meals, can help wash away acids, debris, and bacteria from the mouth and freshen your breath. Fluoride mouth rinse can help strengthen your teeth and prevent tooth decay. Consult your dentist about the right mouth rinse for you or your kid.
Foods rich in essential nutrients like calcium, vitamins, and potassium can help maintain the health of your teeth and gums and protect them against potential oral issues. Good food sources for a healthy mouth include fish, vegetables like broccoli, crunchy fruits, dairy products, and nuts.
Avoid or limit sugary or acidic items as they can encourage oral problems like enamel erosion, decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Also, avoid highly pigmented items to minimize teeth stains. If you eat these items, be sure to rinse your mouth afterward.
Smoking is bad for your oral and physical health. As far as your mouth goes, smoking increases your risk of teeth stains, gum disease, certain cancers, dry mouth, ineffective immune system, and slower wound healing.
Even with excellent daily brushing and flossing, routine dental assessments and cleanings are essential to maintain a clean and healthy mouth. The dentist will examine your mouth for potential oral conditions like cavities, trauma, and gum disease. If any problems are identified, the dentist will address them to prevent them from getting worse to cause further complications.
Routine dental cleanings help remove tartar and plaque build-up in the mouth, reducing your risk of developing oral problems. Professional teeth cleaning also improves your breath and brightens your teeth.
Preventive dental care can also help keep your mouth clean and healthy. For instance, dental sealants prevent plaque and tartar buildup in the mouth, reducing your risk of oral problems. Similarly, it makes it easier to clean your teeth efficiently, helping you maintain a healthy, clean, and bright smile. Visit our dental office for routine dental check-ups and cleanings.
Do you need more information on maintaining a clean and healthy mouth? Contact KK Dental Edison to speak with our dentist in Edison.