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The Benefits of Proper Oral Hygiene

Most dentists recommend that their patients floss their teeth at least once and brush their teeth twice daily. However, many patients fail to follow their dentist's advice.

Nevertheless, proper oral hygiene has multiple benefits. Here are a few of them.

Healthier Teeth

Bacterial acids cause tooth decay. The acids eat away at the tooth enamel, resulting in cavities. Small cavities may be easily treated, but larger cavities that lead to dental infections may require more extensive restorative applications, such as root canals, to restore the health and structural integrity of a decayed tooth.

When you brush and floss your teeth, you remove oral bacteria from the mouth. In addition, if fluoride toothpaste is used, you can help repair damage to the tooth enamel.

Fluoride helps to re-mineralize damaged enamel. The substance coats the surfaces of the teeth and then combines with the minerals, forming a reparative tooth material that is less prone to damage from acid exposure.

Better Breath

Bad breath can make you feel uncomfortable and uncertain in social situations. Still, bad breath is often avoidable. Bad breath can be caused by the food that you ingest, but it can also be caused by improper oral hygiene.

When you brush and floss your teeth, you remove trapped particles of food from between the teeth and along the gum line. Without proper oral hygiene, the carbohydrate content in the food feeds the bacteria in the mouth and helps increase the growth of smelly oral microbes. The residual food in the mouth may also rot if left in place for a prolonged period, causing the release of foul odors.

Additionally, some anaerobic oral bacteria, including many of the microbes on the tongue, release volatile sulfur compounds. These compounds have a stale, unpleasant odor. Proper brushing removes the odor-causing microbes to reduce the odor.

Healthier Gums

Your periodontal health is largely dependent on your oral hygiene efforts. Bacterial acids corrode the tooth enamel, but they also cause gum inflammation. Thus, a clean mouth is less likely to suffer from gum disease.

Gum disease begins with inflammation. The initial stage of the disorder is gingivitis, which is characterized by swollen, sensitive gums that bleed. Gingivitis can be reversed with proper oral hygiene. However, if it is not reversed, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which can cause the gum tissues to recede and form pockets. Periodontitis can also result in tooth and bone loss.

Periodontitis may require specialized treatments, such as root planing and scaling, to clear plaque and tartar deposits from the roots of the teeth. These treatments also help periodontal pockets to heal, encouraging the gums to reconnect to the teeth.

In some instances, a gum graft may be needed to help cover the exposed dental roots that result from severe gum disease. Bone grafts may also be necessary if the gum disease has caused significant damage to the jawbone.

Less Dental Discoloration

The pigments in the foods that you eat and the beverages that you drink can increasingly stain your teeth. However, the amount of dental discoloration that results from the substances that you ingest can be reduced by proper oral hygiene.

Simply rinsing your mouth with water immediately after a meal or snack of deeply colored substances can help dilute the staining pigments before the teeth absorb the colorants. Additionally, as you brush your teeth, more pigments are removed. If a whitening toothpaste is used, even more of the colorants that result in surface stains can be reduced. Even if you are caring for your teeth properly at home, you still need the regular care of a dentist. If you have not had a dental appointment within the last six months, contact Signature Smiles Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment.