A clean mouth is a healthy mouth. If you keep your mouth meticulously clean, you are significantly less likely to develop tooth decay, tooth loss or gum disease. There are many systemic illnesses associated with chronic oral issues. Many people are not sure exactly how to plan their oral hygiene schedule. Here is a guide to scheduling your brushing, flossing, and dentist visits.
If possible, brush your teeth after every meal. If this is impractical, brush twice per day and rinse your mouth after all meals and snacks. Plain water is best, but unsweet tea or coffee also makes an acceptable mouth rinse. Chew unsweetened gum or suck on hard candy to stimulate saliva production throughout the day.
Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits comfortably in your mouth and is easy for you to manipulate. Be sure to brush each quadrant of your mouth for a full 30 seconds. It is easy to miscalculate time, so consider setting a timer or using an electric toothbrush that will beep when it is time to switch quadrants.
Floss your teeth at least once per day. You can use traditional dental floss, a wooden or plastic interdental cleaner, or a Waterpik. Whichever you choose, take your time, carefully working the floss between each pair of teeth and along the gumline. Use steady movements, being careful not to cut your gums. Many people have trouble learning to floss, so ask your dentist or hygienist for a demonstration if needed.
Most people need a professional cleaning twice per year. If you are prone to gum disease or other oral issues, though, your dentist may ask you to come in four times per year instead. If it has been awhile since your last treatment, you may need a more invasive cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing to remove debris and bacteria from deep within the gums. Always follow your dentist’s recommendations to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Oral health and hygiene require ongoing dedication and commitment. However, this dedication is a low-cost way to avoid painful and expensive dental treatments in the future. The guidelines above are appropriate for many people, but your dentist may have other suggestions based on your individual needs. With some hard work, you can keep your mouth sparkling clean and disease-free.
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