Cleanings are an important aspect of maintaining good oral hygiene and can mean the difference between major dental problems and easy, inexpensive treatments. Yet, while scheduling a cleaning once every six months is imperative, it is also vital to create good habits at home as well. Sustaining optimum oral health goes beyond simply brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouth wash but also being aware of what foods you eat, what you drink, and protecting your teeth. The dentists at our Edina, MN office have great tips for proper oral care!
Care In-between Cleanings
Brushing – Everyone knows that you should brush at least twice daily, but brushing with a cheap toothbrush can be causing more damage than good. Hard bristles can irritate and dig at your gums causing them to become inflamed, bleed, and allow food and bacteria to get between your gums and teeth. This can lead to gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontal disease. Electric toothbrushes are also proven to remove more plaque more efficiently than manual toothbrushes.
Diet – Coffee and red wine are known for staining your enamel and yellowing your smile, but diet can also have an effect on the health of your entire mouth. Many links have been made between dental and general health. Those with heart disease have a ninety percent chance of also having periodontal disease. Sugar also has been known to be a huge factor in tooth decay and consumption should be limited to five to ten percent of your diet.
Smoking – Not only does smoking cause major tooth discoloration and bad breath, but can also lead to bone loss, gum disease, and leukoplakia. The chemicals in tobacco interferes with the cells in your gums causing infections which may lead to gum disease. These chemicals also increase your risk of oral and throat cancer. Leukoplakia is also common in tobacco users, which are white patchy lesions on your tongue and the inside your cheeks which develop from mucous membrane irritation.
Protection – It may seem like common sense, but any time you play sports on a team or even with friends, you should wear a mouth guard. Mouth guards will help lessen the likelihood that trauma will result in braking, chipping, or losing teeth. Wearing a helmet while riding a bike, or doing other potentially dangerous activates can also protect your mouth and jaw.
Start Healthy Habits
There are many factors that play a part in maintaining good oral health, many of which you may not have considered. If you have questions or would like more information and tips on keeping you and your family’s mouths clean and healthy please do not hesitate to contact our Edina dentist's office today!