The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene – 5 Easy Steps
The first thing we notice about people is often their smile! A smile can open many doors, and it seems everyday people want to see you smile. Smiles feature on TV adverts, on posters in shop windows and in magazines; everywhere we go it would appear we’re obsessed with big grins. So what can we do to look after our teeth and keep our smile shining bright?
For those who need a little extra help, dental implants can often be the answer to the perfect smile – and luckily looking after a set of implants is pretty similar to looking after natural teeth. Dental implants are designed to be in place for a long time and if looked after properly, they can have the same lifespan as a set of real teeth!
Beginning With The Basics
Brushing – it’s the first line of defence in the war on plaque. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste helps to get rid of plaque and the bacteria which can lead to gingivitis, gum disease and bad breath. Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time will help to prevent plaque building up. Brush once in the morning and once just before bed – and make sure to do your best to clean all tooth surfaces and to use a toothpaste containing fluoride. For those with implants there are fluoride toothpastes which aren’t too abrasive, these are kinder on your new smile.
Brushing is a Good Start, But Let’s Not Stop There
Brushing is a great start to taking care of your dental implants but your tooth brushing routine needs back-up. That’s where flossing and mouthwash come in. Flossing allows you to get in between teeth and reach those places where toothbrushes can’t. Food and plaque can hide out in hard to reach places in your mouth. This can cause damage to tooth enamel and gums. In addition to regular flossing, there are special tools that can make it easier to reach those pesky hiding places. Next up – mouthwash! Like flossing, mouthwash gets into those places that brushing can’t, but it also helps to lower the amount of acid in your mouth which could be harmful for your teeth’s enamel. Mouthwash also comes in a variety of flavours keeping our breath fresh so we only scare away plaque and bacteria.
Time For Food
Our teeth help us tackle the delicious foods we love but what food is best for our teeth? How can we make sure they stay around so we can keep enjoying our favourite meals? What we consume can have a direct impact on the health of our teeth and gums so a balanced diet containing foods which are low in processed sugars and acids is best for our teeth. When we eat and drink sugar, it turns to acid in our mouths. The acid then attacks our tooth enamel which can lead to pain, and cavities! The more sugar we eat, the more acid we create which can lead to more damage to your smile!
Of course, you can enjoy a treat in moderation but make sure you track how much sugar you’re consuming! Drinking water is also great for oral health. It can help to get rid of harmful acids that linger in our mouth following a meal.
You’ve Got Help
Luckily, when it comes to oral hygiene, we can help! Regular check ups with your dentist are super important as your dentist will use their expertise to spot problems whilst they’re still small. Early detection means easier management and potentially more effective treatment. As well as check ups, regular visits to your hygienist are a great way to keep your teeth healthy for as long as possible. This is true for both those with natural teeth and those sporting dental implants. Hygienists have special teeth cleaning tools. This means they can get your teeth extra clean compared to your at home routine. Hygienists also have equipment specifically designed for cleaning dental implants. This will minimise any erosion of the prosthetic teeth and help maximise their life span.
Don’t Let You Dental Hygiene Go Up In Smoke
So you brush twice a day, floss and have a great relationship with your dentist. That’s all well and good, but there are other factors which can have a detrimental effect – including smoking! Even excluding all the other potentially harmful effects of smoking, it really isn’t good for your oral health. Smoking can lead to bad breath and lead to your teeth becoming yellow and stained. For those who are considering, or already have dental implants, smoking is actively discouraged. Studies on smoking and dental implants tell us that there is a much lower success rate for dental implant procedures when the recipient is a smoker.
In today’s world of social media and selfies, it can be easy to think about our smiles as just another way to look good. However, the importance of oral hygiene for our health should not be forgotten. Whether you have all your original teeth or you have dental implants, hopefully you’ve found this helpful and learnt about the importance of good oral hygiene to keep your teeth shining and your smile, well, smiling!