Many people do not realize that oral hygiene is important not just for your smile but for your overall health. At RM Advanced Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we advocate heart-healthy oral hygiene habits to help you maintain not only a healthy, beautiful smile but also improved general health.
It is estimated that as many as 70 percent of adults in the United States have, or will have at some point, periodontal disease. Periodontal, or gum, disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth that infect and inflame the gum tissues. Gum disease has been linked to a number of systemic health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory complications and pregnancy complications. By practicing good oral hygiene and keeping your mouth free from harmful bacteria, you not only reduce your risk of cavities but also minimize your risk of developing or exacerbating a more harmful dental or medical condition.
When you visit our office, our dentist and team will review your oral hygiene routine with you. We may make recommendations on ways that you can improve your at-home dental care. Here are a few basic steps that you can take to help keep your mouth and smile healthy:
- Brush at least twice a day. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, or after each meal, with one of those brushings occurring before you go to bed at night. We recommend that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoridated toothpaste. You may want to consider using an electric toothbrush, as they have been proven to be very effective at cleaning your teeth.
- Floss daily. You should floss at least once a day. The best time to floss is usually right before you go to sleep at night. This cleans the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach.
- Maintain a nutritious, balanced diet. Limit your intake of sugary and acidic foods. This will help reduce your risk of cavities and encourage proper digestion and nutrition as well as better overall health.
- Visit your dentist regularly. You should visit the dentist every six months for routine preventive care. This helps keep your mouth free from decay and disease and allows you to receive any treatments you may need before extensive damage to your teeth can occur.
- Use an oral hygiene aid. Waterpiks, mouth washes and other oral hygiene aids are available to help you keep your teeth clean. Ask Dr. Macedo about oral hygiene aids that can benefit you.