Dental hygiene is one of those things you probably don’t think about too often. If you brush your teeth every day and floss occasionally, that should be all you need, right? The truth is, there’s a lot more that goes into ensuring your dental health.
Our team at Lancaster Dental Care Associates is ready to give you the tips you need for a healthy smile. Our team consists of four expert dentists who give you all the tools you need to ensure your teeth and mouth stay as healthy as possible.
What is dental hygiene?
Dental hygiene is the way you care for your teeth and mouth every day to keep them free of invasive bacteria and disease. You do this by brushing your teeth regularly and flossing to get rid of leftover food particles and plaque.
Plaque is something that everyone has in their mouth to some degree. It’s a film that forms on the surface of your teeth when the bacteria in your mouth mixes with food. While it’s always there, you eliminate it daily when you brush and floss. However, if plaque builds up on your teeth, it can lead to several issues, including:
If the plaque leads to any of the above problems, you’re at risk of losing teeth due to severe decay if it’s not treated early.
Chronic plaque buildup also leads to bad breath, so taking care of your teeth is essential for a healthy mouth and smile.
Common dental hygiene mistakes
If you brush daily, that should be enough to ward off dental issues, right? Wrong. There are a lot of other steps you should be taking, but not all are as straightforward as you may think. Here are some common dental hygiene mistakes that you may be making:
Not changing your toothbrush
Your toothbrush should be changed out about every three months. If you use a toothbrush for too long, it becomes less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, which could lead to plaque buildup.
Brushing too hard
While it may seem like you need to scrub your teeth to get them clean, the opposite is actually true. It doesn’t take a whole lot of pressure to get your teeth clean, and too much pressure can actually damage your enamel.
Forgetting to floss
Flossing every day is vital to the health of your teeth. Food particles can get stuck between your teeth and aren’t able to be cleaned with brushing alone. Flossing ensures that the spaces between your teeth stay clear of harmful food debris.
Using the wrong type of toothbrush
There are plenty of options for toothbrushes today, including hard or soft bristles and manual and electric. Most people should use a soft-bristled toothbrush, as hard bristles can cause damage to the enamel on your teeth.
Not drinking enough water
Staying hydrated isn’t what you think of first when considering dental hygiene. However, drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps flush debris from your teeth and keep bacteria from multiplying. Dehydration can breed bacteria due to dryness in your mouth.
Another common mistake is skipping your regular dental visits. These appointments are essential to the overall health of your mouth and teeth.
Keeping your sugar consumption down is another way to prevent issues with your teeth. Too much sugar leads to tooth decay and cavities, especially if your dental hygiene isn’t the best.
How to properly take care of your teeth
The first step to a healthy smile is to make sure you’re brushing your teeth at least twice a day. That helps to eliminate the bacteria and plaque on your teeth. The same is true for flossing — don’t skip out on it.
The best thing you can do is see our team of dentists regularly to avoid any complications with your teeth, such as cavities. Regular cleaning visits are essential to keep your mouth free of harmful bacteria and plaque.
Keeping yourself adequately hydrated and cutting down on your sugar intake are other ways you can actively take care of your teeth. Our team can also help you pick out the perfect toothbrush for your dental needs.
If you need a dental exam or are worried about your oral health, call our office to schedule a consultation at 661-282-7512, or you can book an appointment online.