Maintaining good oral hygiene means more than having a pretty smile. Your oral hygiene can have an effect on a variety of aspects in your life and the health of your mouth should always be a priority. Practicing the proper routines and behaviors can help keep your oral hygiene in-check, and with the help of your professional dental team, your good hygiene can provide you with a healthy, beautiful smile for years to come. We’re here with everything you need to know about good oral hygiene habits, why it matters, and how your dental team can help back you up every step of the way.
Why Good Oral Hygiene Matters
You may associate having good oral hygiene with bright, pearly-white teeth, but the hygiene of your mouth has tremendous connections to more than your smile’s color and appearance. Aside from providing you a beautiful, white smile, practicing good oral hygiene can also help with the following:
- Provide confidence and self-esteem to a person, which helps effect self-worth and depression.
- Prevent tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss.
- Protect against health-related problems and conditions like osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and more.
- Reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy.
How to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Practicing the proper behaviors and routines can help you maintain good oral hygiene, prevent oral complications, and smile brilliantly for many years. Much like the care you provide for the rest of your body, your teeth, gums, and mouth must always be a priority when considering self-care.
Brushing, Flossing, and Rinsing
As the cornerstone of oral health, your daily routines when caring for your teeth can determine the difference between poor and good oral hygiene. By making these routines a habit, you can maintain good oral hygiene, as well as oral health. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing should be done with care. Here are a few tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, with a soft-bristled, ADA-approved toothbrush. The toothbrush should be able to easily reach all areas of your mouth. (Remember to replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months)
- Use a high-quality toothpaste with fluoride, for any person over the age of 1.
- When you brush your teeth, you should be reaching the front and back of every tooth, as well as your tongue, cheeks, and gums. Try to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to get the best cleaning.
- After brushing, use around 1-foot of dental floss and wrap it around one finger on each of your hands. Use your fingers to guide the dental floss gently between each of your teeth, using caution around the gums.
- When you are finished flossing, use a quality mouthwash rinse to finish the job. Mouthwashes are designed and scientifically proven to kill germs and bacteria that can lead to poor oral hygiene.
Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors
It isn’t just the specific care you provide your teeth that matters. Science has shown us that what we eat and how we live have significant impacts on our overall mental and physical health. The same is true for your oral hygiene. To maintain a healthy lifestyle that will keep your teeth and mouth healthy, consider the following:
Do not smoke tobacco, limit alcohol consumption, and do not participate in recreational drug use. Exercise daily and eat a healthy diet that limits sugary or starchy foods. You should be consuming 3, healthy meals each day that consists of colorful foods loaded with protein, vitamins, and minerals. Drink water frequently throughout the day to maintain hydration.
What Routine Dental Visits Can Do For Your Oral Health and Hygiene
Dentists and their professional staff are specially trained to care for the health and hygiene of your mouth. Not just there for when things go wrong, dentists are also there to perform routine services that help maintain your oral hygiene and keep your oral health in-check as well. Routine exams and cleanings should be a part of every person’s oral hygiene routine, for a happy and healthy smile.
What to Expect at a Dental Exam
During a dental checkup, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth. He or she will look for signs of issues or problems and may use x-ray machines to take pictures of your teeth. When the dentist performs routine cleanings, he or she uses specialized instruments that remove debris, bacteria, and tartar from your teeth. Instruments will also be used to polish your teeth and remove plaque. Your dentist will also offer education on good oral health and hygiene during routine exams and cleanings. Dental exams and/or cleanings should happen about every 6 months.
Your dentist may also:
- Examine your head and neck in addition to your mouth.
- Discuss any oral or medical history in your family or with yourself.
- Answer any questions you may have about oral health.
The Cost of a Dental Exam
Your dental exam and cleaning can vary in cost, depending on a variety of factors. For people with dental insurance, however, most insurance policies cover a majority, if not all, of the cost of exams and cleanings. These routine checkups are often covered by insurance because they are considered preventative and help protect against costlier procedures in the future. Your insurance company will most-likely cover checkups or cleanings once or twice each year.
If you do not have dental insurance that covers routine checkups and cleanings, the cost of services can vary. On average, you can expect to pay between $200-$300 for an exam, cleaning, and x-rays. Depending on the technology used, however, x-rays can cost more. But paying for preventative care can wind up saving you in the end, since procedures for when things go wrong can cost thousands of dollars.
Learn More About Good Oral Hygiene and Routine Dental Visits
Here at Shore Smiles Dental, our expertise and specialized training allow us to provide you with the best tools and services available for maintaining good oral hygiene. To find out more about how we can help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful, contact our office today to schedule your appointment!