Categories: Routine Services

by Flagship Dental


woman brushing her teeth

Oral hygiene is the practice of maintaining a clean and healthy oral environment. It involves regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups. This combination prevents tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Daily habits like this make a big difference over time.

In this article, we’ll dive into how good oral hygiene contributes to overall well-being, uncover some often-overlooked facts, and give you a practical guide to keep your mouth healthy for years to come. 

We’ll also explore common myths and provide you with knowledge about the right products for your healthcare journey. With a good understanding of oral hygiene and proper techniques, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier and happier you.

The Surprising Connection Between Oral Hygiene and Overall Health

You may know that brushing and flossing are important for a bright smile, but did you know good oral hygiene can impact your overall health? Research shows a strong connection between oral hygiene and whole-body health.

Think of your mouth as the gateway to your body. When your oral health suffers, harmful bacteria can enter your bloodstream through your gums.

This can cause problems in other areas of your body, even affecting organs like the heart and lungs. Poor oral hygiene is also linked to conditions like cardiovascular disease, endocarditis, pneumonia, and diabetes. Maintaining good oral health is a critical component in managing your diabetes and can benefit you far beyond a beautiful smile.

Oral Hygiene and Heart Health

Your heart might seem a world away from your mouth, but studies have indicated that gum disease, which is caused by poor oral hygiene, might increase the risk of heart disease. 

This connection arises from bacteria from infected gums potentially entering the bloodstream and traveling to the heart.

They can then attach to damaged areas, contributing to inflammation and issues like endocarditis. A well-balanced diet can also contribute to good oral and heart health.

Oral Hygiene and Diabetes

For individuals living with diabetes, good oral hygiene is essential. Diabetes can lower your body’s ability to fight infections, making oral health problems like gum disease even more likely.

Plus, did you know that periodontal disease can make it harder to control your blood sugar levels? Maintaining healthy gums can be a critical component in managing your diabetes. Making good oral care part of your daily routine is a win-win for both your mouth and your overall health.

Oral Health and Pregnancy

Taking good care of your teeth is crucial, especially if you’re expecting a baby. Pregnant women with gum disease, specifically periodontitis, may face a higher risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also increase the chances of developing gingivitis (inflamed gums), making oral hygiene even more important during these crucial months. So, remember to talk to your dentist about keeping those gums healthy for you and your little one.

You can schedule a comprehensive dental exam with us today. Our intra-oral evaluation will prove particularly helpful to check your gums and bone surrounding your teeth for any signs of periodontal disease and pocketing. 

Setting the Record Straight: Myths About Oral Hygiene

Like many things in the world of health, there are certain myths circulating about good oral hygiene. Let’s separate fact from fiction and give you the real scoop on some commonly held beliefs. Being armed with accurate information empowers you to make the best decisions about your dental health.

Myth #1: Bleeding Gums Are Normal When Brushing

Though common, bleeding gums aren’t a sign of proper brushing – they are usually an indication of gingivitis (early-stage gum disease). 

Healthy gums should not bleed, and addressing bleeding gums early can save you from further dental problems down the road.

Myth #2: Electric Toothbrushes Are Only for Adults

While there are specialized electric toothbrushes designed for kids, in general, electric toothbrushes are beneficial for all ages. If used properly, electric toothbrushes can clean your teeth more effectively than manual brushing, regardless of age.

For children with special needs, electric toothbrushes can also provide the help needed for efficient brushing. If you experience difficulty flossing or have sensitive teeth, you may want to consider a water flosser for an easier experience.

The oral health of your family is our top priority, too. Here at Flagship Dental, our pediatric dentists will ensure your kids feel safe and comfortable during their visit with us. 

Together, we’ll chat about your child’s medical and oral history, conduct a thorough examination, and take dental X-rays if necessary. It’s best to instill good habits early on and we can help you do that. 

Myth #3: Hard Brushing Cleans Better

This one is false. If you brush your teeth aggressively, it will not result in cleaner teeth. It can damage your tooth enamel and gums, leading to receding gums and sensitive teeth.

Aim for gentle circular motions, taking care to cover all surfaces of your teeth. When you visit us, we can also provide additional resources on how to care for your teeth.

Your Easy-To-Follow Guide for Proper Oral Care

Achieving a bright, healthy smile involves more than just quick brushes here and there. Let’s break down the crucial steps to practice good oral hygiene every day. Incorporating these simple tips can make a world of difference.

Brushing Like a Pro: It’s All About Technique

Brushing at least twice a day is crucial for removing plaque. That sticky film of bacteria is what leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Fluoride toothpaste, along with a soft-bristled toothbrush, are the must-have tools in your oral care arsenal.

But, it’s the technique that truly sets apart those who are acing oral care. Begin with your toothbrush angled at a 45-degree angle towards your gum line, gently brushing using short, circular motions.

Avoid harsh scrubbing, as it can harm your teeth in the long run. Pay equal attention to each tooth’s outer, inner, and chewing surfaces for a truly thorough clean.

Make Flossing Your Best Friend

Flossing gets those hard-to-reach places between your teeth, effectively removing food debris that your toothbrush can’t always conquer. Not flossing allows plaque to build up, which can ultimately lead to tartar, a hardened plaque that’s much tougher to get rid of.

Aim to floss at least once a day, sliding the floss gently between each tooth, hugging the tooth’s curve, and cleaning each side. Chewing problems may arise when you don’t practice good oral hygiene.

Rinse to Refresh and Protect

A fluoride mouthwash isn’t just for fresh breath; it provides extra help in fighting plaque and strengthening your tooth enamel.

Swish it around in your mouth after brushing and flossing to make the most of its germ-fighting and enamel-boosting powers. Using a mouth rinse is an important oral health tip.

Eat Your Way to a Healthier Smile

Limiting sugary treats and drinks is a given, but have you thought about what else you can include in your diet for a sparkling smile? 

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, like carrots and apples, act like natural toothbrushes as you chew them, scrubbing away food particles and helping to keep your teeth clean.

Drinking plenty of water not only hydrates you, it helps to wash away lingering food particles, acting as a rinsing agent after meals. 

Going Beyond the Basics: The Benefits of Fluoride and Professional Cleanings

Visiting your dentist regularly is crucial for your overall dental health. The simple, yet powerful components below offer long-term benefits for healthy teeth and gums.

The Power of Fluoride: An Extra Layer of Protection

Think of fluoride as your teeth’s superpower. It makes your teeth more resistant to decay by strengthening the outer enamel. This powerhouse mineral not only prevents cavities, but it can even reverse early stages of decay. This is because it interferes with the acid attack that wears away tooth enamel, ultimately strengthening it against attack from sugars.

Professional Dental Care: Why It’s Essential

Even if you’re a brushing and flossing champion, it’s still critical to visit your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleaning. This helps prevent gum disease and catches potential problems early on, which can save you a lot of discomfort (and even cost) in the future.

Sometimes, plaque buildup happens in places your toothbrush can’t reach, even when following the best brushing techniques. That’s where your dental hygienist comes in.

During a professional cleaning, they’ll remove built-up tartar that contributes to gum disease. A professional cleaning involves meticulous scaling, which helps to get rid of plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas and above and below the gum line, and polishing. 

Your dentist can also examine your teeth for early signs of decay, check your gums for pockets that might indicate periodontal disease, perform oral cancer screenings, and address other oral health concerns. 

In the world of oral health, prevention truly is the best cure. So, don’t skip those visits; they’re an important step in a complete oral care plan.

Signs You May Need to See a Dentist

Knowing what to look out for when it comes to your oral health can make a world of difference in addressing issues early on. Here are a few key signs you should book a dental checkup as soon as possible:

  • Bleeding Gums: Healthy gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush or floss; this could be a sign of gingivitis or more severe gum disease.
  • Persistent Bad Breath: Also known as halitosis, persistent bad breath that doesn’t improve with brushing or flossing can be an indication of an underlying oral health issue.
  • Loose Teeth: This is often a symptom of gum disease where supporting structures are compromised.
  • Sores That Don’t Heal: Sores or ulcers in your mouth that persist for weeks should be examined, as they may signal infection or even oral cancer.
  • Sensitivity to Hot or Cold Foods: While some level of sensitivity is normal, increased sensitivity could signal cavities or exposed tooth roots from receding gums.
  • Swollen Mouth or Jaw: Swelling in your jaw or around your mouth could be a sign of infection that needs prompt attention.
  • Changes in Your Bite: If your bite suddenly feels different, it may indicate dental problems such as tooth wear or a misaligned jaw.

Brighten Your Smile Today and Benefit Your Overall Health Tomorrow

Good oral hygiene is way more than just having a good-looking smile; it’s a window to your overall well-being. 

A consistent routine of brushing, flossing, using fluoride, and getting professional dental care is crucial for preventing dental problems and potentially safeguarding your overall health. 

Here at Flagship Dental, we’ve been serving our community in Langley and Surrey for nearly 50 years. Our services include exams and cleanings, whitening, Invisalign, crowns and implants, and more.

Schedule an appointment with us today so we can help you continue your healthy journey and make enough improvements to impact your overall health. 

Categories: Routine Services

by Flagship Dental


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