Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean to prevent dental problems that include cavities, gingivitis, bad breath, and gum disease.
Having and maintaining good oral hygiene is very important. It helps prevent dental problems like plaque and tartar build up that cause gum disease and tooth decay. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, health complications related to a stroke and heart disease are associated with gum disease. In addition, other research has shown that diseases like diabetes, oral cancer, and heart disease have symptoms of swollen gums, mouth ulcers, and dry mouth. Having regular oral examinations with your dentist may lead to early detection of these diseases.
Keep your health and oral hygiene in check with these simple steps:
- See your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings and exams.
- Brush at least twice a day for at least two minutes.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Eat a healthy diet with nutrients like Vitamin A and C to prevent gum disease.
- Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer.