A consistent oral hygiene routine is a great way to remain proactive regarding oral health problems like bad breath, cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease. Should these problems worsen into periodontitis, they will start to affect your overall health, causing a slew of other issues like heart disease and hindering your ability to chew or speak properly in the event of tooth decay or loss. Fortunately, all this can be prevented, and Smile Solutions of Maine is happy to share what having a good dental hygiene routine is all about.

What is a Proper Oral Hygiene Routine?

Along with a good oral hygiene routine, your dentist may recommend lifestyle changes such as quitting tobacco use and limiting sugar intake. Both can be detrimental to your oral health. In addition, following these next steps will help you keep your smile nice and healthy.

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important part of your routine. Twice daily brushing for two minutes will help fight off bad bacteria. Unless otherwise recommended by your dentist, use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush making gentle circular motions over the entire surface of each tooth.
  • Flossing once a day will help remove food, tartar, and biofilm in hard-to-reach places. Simply take a piece of dental floss, wrap it around both of your pointer or middle fingers and slide it between each of your teeth, creating a ‘C’ shape. Don’t forget your back molars and wisdom teeth that have come in. If you have issues maneuvering your hands, ask your dentist about interproximal brushes, water flossers, or dental picks.
  • Brushing your tongue is often overlooked. However, it is an effective way to remove other bacteria that hide in your mouth. 
  • Bi-annual dental visits are critical when it comes to preventative dental care. A dental hygienist will clean your teeth and remove plaque buildup and tartar, as well as take routine x-rays. A dentist will also come in and perform a physical exam to check for signs of gingivitis, tooth decay, oral cancer, and other potential issues. 

Benefits of Having a Dental Hygiene Routine

It’s never too late to start a dental hygiene routine, and the benefits of implementing one go beyond having fresh breath. Here are a few reasons Smile Solutions of Maine recommends a consistent routine.

  • Lowers your risk for heart disease. Many people are unaware of the direct correlation between a healthy mouth and a healthy body. The American Heart Association has linked periodontal disease and heart attacks. Gum disease can increase your risk of a heart attack by nearly 50%. Having other conditions that worsen your immune system, like diabetes, can also leave you prone to bacterial infections, and your dentist may be able to recognize this during your routine screening.
  • Builds up your confidence. Our smile is one of the first things people notice, and we all deserve to display our happiness as often as possible. Tooth decay may discourage us from wanting to do just that. Luckily, there are solutions to these issues, like bridges, crowns, and veneers. This is why we encourage you to seek a dental professional no matter how long the decay has progressed.
  • Saves you money. Should you ever need a more intensive procedure like dental implants or jaw surgery, the cost can be quite hefty. Starting a dental hygiene routine for children once their first tooth comes in could potentially save money in the long run.

Smile Solution of Maine Provides Your Preventative Dental Needs

Along with good oral hygiene habits, regular dental visits will leave you feeling refreshed, so be sure to schedule an appointment if it’s been over six months. These visits will also allow your doctor to detect any potential oral health issues early on and give you tips on how to better care for your smile. Contact the dental professionals at Smile Solutions of Maine to schedule an appointment in the Waterville and Winthrop, Main area.