You can successfully protect and preserve your smile without a good dental hygiene routine. Most people recognize this, and yet, many common dental concerns (like tooth decay and gum disease) still affect a large percentage of people of all ages. In many cases, it isn’t for lack of effort, but rather the fact that many people have forgotten or never understood what it takes for a hygiene routine to be considered a good one. Today, we help refresh your memory, as well as examine what could happen if you ignore the principles of consistently good hygiene and preventive care.
What it means to stick to good hygiene
For the most part, most people get the basic idea of good dental hygiene right. It means brushing and flossing your teeth every day to avoid the excessive buildup of dental plaque. However, not everyone realizes just how big of a problem dental plaque is, or how diligent you have to be to successfully stop it from lingering on your teeth too long. For example, it’s important to brush your teeth at least twice every day, not just once, and you can improve your routine by flossing right before bed time. Being consistent and thorough is the only way to effectively remove plaque before it has a chance to calcify into tartar and become a much bigger threat to your oral health.
The consequences of inadequate hygiene
The consequences of not sticking to a good hygiene routine can vary for everyone, but many of the concerns stem from the impact that certain oral bacteria have on your teeth, gums, and oral tissues. These can include:
- Tooth decay and cavities – The most common condition to result from oral bacteria buildup is tooth decay, which starts when bacteria produce acids to erode your tooth enamel. Once bacteria infect your tooth structure, it forms a cavity, or hole in the tooth structure.
- Gingivitis and gum disease – Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, which can lead to single or multiple tooth loss in its severe stages. Like tooth decay, the condition starts with excess bacteria buildup, though in this case, the buildup is along your gum line. This makes brushing along your gum line especially important every time you clean your teeth.
- Chronic bad breath (known as halitosis) – Bad breath can be the result of a tooth decay or gum disease progressing, or it may be a direct result of certain oral bacteria gathering en masse on your tongue or other oral tissues. Brushing your tongue along with your teeth can help prevent the potential embarrassment of developing bad breath that won’t go away.
Learn about improving your dental hygiene
It doesn’t take much for some oral health concerns to develop, and ignoring a good hygiene routine is one of the easiest ways. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Gentle Smiles in Dallas, TX, today at 972-329-7645 (972-329-SMILE).